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Pacing superstar Im Themightyquinn has thrown off the effects of injuries and illness and is poised to make a triumphant return to racing by proving too fast for his eight rivals in the $21,000 Memorial Day Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night, despite the significant disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line in the 2130m feature event. The nine-year-old champion, who pulled up sore after finishing second to Im Victorious in the 1730m Members Sprint at Gloucester Park last October, looks a picture after a thorough preparation from leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and punters are excited at the prospect of supporting him at his first start in a race for 196 days. A month ago he sped over the final 400m of a track workout at Hall's Serpentine training establishment in 27.1sec. and he has improved considerably since then. Im Themightyquinn, winner of 51 races from 102 starts for earnings of $4,377,016, goes into Friday night's race with a splendid first-up record, having won at his first outing after a spell in each of his three previous preparations. Star reinsman Gary Hall jun.is certain not to set Im Themightyquinn alight in the early stages and to allow the champion to drift back to the rear before making use of his sizzling speed at a later stage in the race. Hokonui Ben, winner of the WA Pacing Cup in January, has fared well in the random draw and is sure to appreciate the distinct advantage of starting from the prized No. 1 barrier. Trainer Aldo Cortopassi will be anxious to set the pace and he certainly will be mindful of the prospect of an early challenge for the lead from Polak, who is capable of mustering great pace from the No. 5 barrier. Hokonui Ben appeals as the main danger to Im Themightyquinn. He set the pace and held on to win narrowly from the fast-finishing This Time Dylan over 2130m two starts ago. And then he finished an excellent fourth behind Finbar Abbey in the 2902m Easter Cup on Thursday of last week when he started off 40m and sustained a spirited finishing burst. However, it is difficult to visualise Hokonui Ben or any other runner seriously challenging Im Themightyquinn. Victory for Im Thenmightyquinn would give the Hall father-and-son combination its first success in the Memorial Day Stakes, an event which has been held annually since Ken Ford drove Halt to victory in 1959. Hall sen. now has high hopes that Im Themightyquinn will end his several near misses in the Memorial Day Stakes. Hall has trained the runner-up in five memorial Day Stakes --- Zakara (1991), Bengeeman (2003), Patches (2006), Dartmoor (2009) and Whos Mistake (2013). Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who will be represented by Red Salute, has won the event twice. He scored with Captain Lee (Chris Lewis) in 1995 and Tsunami Lombo (Morgan Woodley in 2011). Chris Voak will drive the consistent Red Salute, who should gain an ideal passage after starting from barrier two on the back line. PERSISTENT THREAT POISED FOR FIVE IN A ROW Persistent Threat was the most impressive of the three heat winners on Tuesday of last week and he possesses the versatility and natural speed to make the greatest appeal in the $100,000 WA Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Advance Attack gelding, trained in Bunbury by John Graham, fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside barrier (No. 7) on the front line, which is a serious disadvantage over the sprint journey of 1730m. However, Persistent Threat has shown wonderful versatility in winning at his only four starts, in which he has been driven with plenty of confidence by Tom Buchanan. He reappeared after a two-month absence in a qualifying heat of the Sales Classic last week when he started from the No. 5 barrier and was sixth in the one-wide line at the bell before Buchanan sent him forward, three wide, 650m from home. He ran home fast and won, hard held, by a length from Lot twenty One, rating 1.58.6. Persistent Threat's first three starts were in January and February when he was not fully extended in winning twice at Pinjarra and once at Bunbury. His gross time in his heat last week was 2min. 7.5sec., which compares more than favourably with the times recorded by the other heat winners, Blacklist (2min. 8.3sec.) and Ezygatboy (2min. 9.5sec.). Ezygatboy and Blacklist are much more favourably drawn in the final than Persistent Threat, something which is sure to hearten the connections of both geldings. Ezygatboy will start from barrier two on the front line and Blacklist will start on the inside of the back line. Ezygatboy, to be driven by his trainer Garry Butler, made a stylish debut in winning his heat, in which he was restrained from barrier six and was sixth at the bell before he produced a sparkling late sprint to win by a length and a half from, Nitro lad at a 2.0.5 rate. Blacklist, trained and driven by Shannon Suvaljko, also made a smart debut when he raced three wide for the first 500m before bursting to the front 1100m from home and scoring easily by one and a half lengths from Bettor Twisted, rating 1.59.4. He is related to former champion The Falcon Strike and will have many admirers. Captain Oats, a Rich And Spoilt colt trained by Courtney Burch, drew the prized No. 1 barrier and he will be popular with punters. Reinsman Gary Hall jun. will be out to repeat his effort in this event in 2010 when he set the pace with hot favourite Blissfull Boy from barrier one and won the classic from Touch of Tango and Bettors Ace. The No. 1 barrier also proved a decisive factor in this race 12 months ago when Chris Lewis drove Mister Jadore to an all-the-way victory over Swagga (driven by Hall) and Lukey (driven by Suvaljko). ISABELLA JANE HAS FAMILY TRADITION TO UPHOLD Talented filly Isabella Jane has a family tradition to uphold when she contests the $100,000 Clipsal WA Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Byford trainer David Thompson is hoping that she will follow in the footsteps of his stable star David Hercules, whom he prepared for his victory over Tiger Reed Lombo and Grinjaro in a version of the WA Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings in May 2009. The other version of the 2009 classic was won by Ballas Arockstar. Isabella Jane is by American stallion Sportswriter and is a half-sister to David Hercules, who has amassed $805,444 in prizemoney from 29 wins and 31 placings from 87 starts. Like A Dame, the dam of David Hercules and Isabella Jane, has also produced smart pacers in Gran Tarino and Hugh Victor. Like A Dame's dam Hold Tight produced Fake Embrace, winner of the Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings in March 2004. Isabella Jane, to be driven by Colin Brown, has raced only once --- for a strong victory in a heat of the Sales Classic on Tuesday of last week when, she started from barrier four and raced three wide for the first 550m before moving to the breeze and eventually getting to a narrow lead with 250m to travel. And then she impressed by dashing right away from her rivals and winning by three lengths from Choccywoccy, who finished strongly, out five wide, after enjoying a soft run three back on the pegs. Isabella Jane will not have things all her own way in the final on Friday night after drawing out wide at No. 6 on the front line. She is likely to receive plenty of opposition, particularly from three back-line runners, Straittothehilton, Choccywoccy and La Mia Juliette. Straittothehilton will have admirers from the inside of the back line. Her effort when third behind Isabella Jane and Choccywoccy in the qualifying heat was full of merit. She started from the outside of the front line and broke into a gallop soon after the start, dropping back to last. She was still last at the bell before rattling home, six wide on the track. La Mia Juliette, trained and driven by Peter Tilbrook was a 46/1 outsider when she made a successful debut in a heat of the classic on Tuesday of last week. She was sixth in the one-wide line at the bell before finishing strongly to beat the pacemaker Lovers Prayer. Chris Lewis, who has driven the winner of the Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies six times, will handle the polemarker Maddyann Maree for Harvey trainer Peter Kimberley. Maddyann Maree possesses good gate speed and has shown promise with a second, a third and three fourths from her five starts. She goes into the race with the distinct advantage of the No. 1 barrier. Lewis has won the classic with Miss Booth (1991), Parthenon (1994), Backin A Jiffy (2000), Hindu Sitara (2003), Amongst Royalty (2006) and Fidelius Charm (2008). ALTA CHRISTIANO HAS EVERYTING IN HIS FAVOUR A return to mobile racing, a reduction in distance and the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line are the three ingredients which should ensure that star four-year-old Alta Christiano returns to the winning list when he contests the $25,000 Del Basso Smallgoods The Johnson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The chunky New Zealand-bred stallion, trained by Gary Hall sen., should make amends for his defeat as the 7/4 on favourite in the 2902m Easter Cup on Thursday of last week by proving too smart for his rivals in this week's event over 2130m. He suffered his first defeat in Australia last week when he began slowly from a standing start and settled down almost 60m behind the early pacemaker Hez Got the Nod. He dashed forward in the first circuit to get to the front after 950m and was not caught until the final 70m when a close third behind Finbar Abbey and Polak. Alta Christiano possesses excellent gate speed and relishes the task of leading in his races. Clint Hall should get him straight to the front and then lead his 11 rivals a merry dance. Shirlz Sensation, one of seven four-year-olds in the race, is in top form and has given powerful performances to win at his past three outings, all over 2130m and all after he had covered extra ground. But his prospects diminished considerably when he drew the outside barrier on the front line. A perfect draw on the inside of the back line has enhanced the place prospects of the Colin Brown-trained Erskine Range, who looks set to trail Alta Christiano throughout the race. However, it is unlikely that he has the ability to outsprint Alta Christiano in the final stages. Vapour, trained by Gary Hall sen., has been running home powerfully for teenager driver Lauren Jones in several recent starts and the four-year-old, who will start from the back line, should again be prominent in the concluding stages. by Ken Casellas

Veteran harness racing pacer Finbar Abbey, a Metropolitan maiden performer, caused a major surprise when he celebrated his 100th start by working hard and winning the $40,000 Garrards Horse And Hound Easter Cup at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, a recent arrival at Ross Olivieri's Oakford stables, started from barrier five off the front in the 2902m stand and he raced three wide early and in the breeze at various stages before finishing with great determination to defeat the fast-finishing Polak (22/1) by a neck, with the 7/4 on favourite Alta Christiano in third place. Punters were stunned when Finbar Abbey surged past Alta Christiano 70m from the post. And then Polak, who had raced three back on the pegs, got clear and flew home to snatch second place from Alta Christiano. This was Alta Christiano's first defeat in six starts in Australia. Despite his lowly status, Finbar Abbey, an M0-class pacer, had many admirers after winning 2500m stands in moderate company at Northam and Gloucester Park at his first two starts for Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak. He went out fifth favourite at 12/1. Before entering Olivieri's stables, Finbar Abbey had managed just one placing (a third at Harvey) from his 11 previous starts. Finbar Abbey galloped out for a few strides and settled down in sixth position. Alta Christiano just walked away off the front and was almost 60m behind the early pacemaker and 7/1 chance Hez Got The Nod, with Clint Kimes getting Polak away to a flying start from the inside of the 10m line to move in behind the leader. Sanjaya galloped badly off the front and Rocket Reign met severe interference. Finbar Abbey raced three wide early before moving to the breeze. He gained the one-out, one-back sit after Alta Christiano dashed forward. But when Clint Hall sent Alta Christiano to the front 950m after the start, Finbar Abbey again was racing without cover. Finbar Abbey regained the one-out, one-back sit with two laps to travel when 33/1 chance Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze. Voak eased Finbar Abbey three wide 650m from home and the old gelding moved alongside the pacemaker Alta Christiano passing the 420m mark. Finbar Abbey gained the upper hand in the final stages and then held off the fast-finishing Polak, who flashed home after getting clear. The stewards suspended Kimes (Polak's driver) for 17 days for causing interference to Braemoor. The final quarters were run in 29.3sec. and 29.5sec. and Finbar Abbey rated 2.0.8 which was 0.1sec. outside the track record for 2902m set by Christian Spirit when he won the Fremantle Cup in January 2008. The only faster mile rates set by winners of the Fremantle Cup have been: Village Kid (1.59.8 over 2500m in 1987), Allwoods Chief (2.0.3, 2900m, 1998), (The Falcon Strike (2.0.3, 2900m, 2003) and Patches (2.0.4, 2907m, 2006). Scruffy Murphy rated 2.0.8 when he was successful over 2902m in 2008. The 25-year-old Voak admitted he was surprised at Finbar Abbey's excellent performance, saying: "Six months ago you wouldn't have thought that Finbar Abbey would be winning an Easter Cup, beating the horses he has tonight. "I guess the little bit of a burn (in the first lap) took the sting out of Alta Christiano. But you can't take anything away from Finbar Abbey. I punched the breeze for the best part of a lap and he was three wide from the 750m --- and he's actually outstayed Alta Christiano and then fought off Polak over the final 50 metres. "I have nothing but praise for this horse. I really didn't think he could do something like that, even though his two previous runs were really good. On the home turn he felt big and to his credit he just lifted and lifted and showed really good fighting qualities. Alta Christiano is a pretty big name, and he did a lot of work. But Finbar Abbey didn't have it that easy himself." The victory gave Olivieri his fourth success in an Easter Cup, after wins with Abmidas (1997), OK Windermere (who dead-heated with Patches in 2006) and Arma Harris (2010). Olivieri said that part-owner David Gravolin was holidaying in Hawaii and that three of his part-owners were away, working on oil rigs off the coast of Western Australia. Finbar Abbey, by American stallion Pacific Rocket, is the third foal out of Miles McCool mare Casino Abbey, who won once from 11 starts in New Zealand. Finbar Abbey raced 63 times in New Zealand for five wins and 14 placings and his 37 WA starts have produced nine wins and nine placings. His overall record stands at 100 starts for 14 wins, 23 placings and $113,531. LIBERTYBELLE MIDFREW HAS WA OAKS AT HER MERCY Shannon Suvaljko was lavish in his praise for Libertybelle Midfrew after driving her to an effortless victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound On-Course Now WA Oaks prelude at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The New Zealand-bred filly simply annihilated her 11 rivals and appears to have the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 9 at her mercy. "She's probably one of the best horses I have driven," said the 45-year-old Suvaljko. "She's got gears, she's strong and is all class. I haven't let her go in her three wins (in WA) and we're just waiting for the Oaks now. She is really strong and tough and she will be scary if you let her go." Libertybelle Midfrew, purchased at a high price in New Zealand early this year by Albert Walmsley, has cruised to victory by an average winning margin of four lengths at her first three appearances in WA, rating 1.58.5 over 1730m at Gloucester Park and 1.57.8 over 2185m at Pinjarra before her win by 19.5m over The Parade on Thursday night, rating 1.58.1 over 2536m. The Christian Cullen filly is prepared at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and she appears classes ahead of all other three-year-old fillies in the State. On Thursday night she started from barrier four on the back line and was favourite at evens. Polemaker Harper Grace set the pace and Suvaljko was content to settle Libertybelle Midfrew in ninth position in the one-wide line. All About Pink dashed forward to move to the breeze after 600m and Suvaljko bided his time until he sent Libertybelle Midfrew forward, three wide, 1050m from home. She got a half-length in front of Harper Grace at the 650m mark before surging to a clear lead 470m from home. She then coasted to the line more than six lengths clear of 15/4 second fancy The Parade, who finished doggedly after enjoying the perfect one-out, one-back trail. Highest Royalty (8/1) trailed the pacemaker and finished a sound third, with harper Grace (9/2) in fourth place. Libertybelle Midfrew has earned $151,007 from four wins and four placings from 14 starts. SOHO VALENCIA IS A RISING STAR Victorian-bred five-year-old Soho Valencia gave further proof that he will be a star in feature events at the next Christmas carnival when he outclassed his rivals in the 1730m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Favourite at 5/2 on, Soho Valencia began speedily from the No. 3 barrier and gave a faultless frontrunning exhibition before coasting to a four-length victory over 18/1 chance Menelaus of Sparta, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Little Boy Blue (7/1) raced in the breeze and was a fighting third. Soho Valencia, produced in grand shape by leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and driven by his elder son Clint for owner Rob Watson, sped over the final 800m in 55.8sec. and rated a smart 1.55.1 to take his record to 21 wins and nine placings from 37 starts for earnings of $332,782. A winner of 13 races in Victoria, one in Queensland and four in New South Wales, he has had five starts in WA for three wins and two seconds. He is living up to the promise he showed when he was a star juvenile when his victories included the $100,000 group 1 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2011 and the $40,000 group 3 Bathurst Gold Chalice for three-year-olds a year later. By Art Major, he is the sixth foal out of Benelise (a mare by American stallion Vintner), who won at eight of her 14 Victorian starts in modest company in 2000-01. Soho Valencia's half-brother Yrubla (by Jet Laag) won the group 1 $100,000 Bathurst Gold Crown for two-year-olds in March 2007. "My guess is that Soho Valencia will get to an M4 or M5 mark and then go for a spell before coming back for the summer time," said Clint Hall. MIGHTY FLYING THOMAS A 2536m SPECIALIST For what he might lack in brilliance, Mighty Flying Thomas makes up for with his dogged determination, his stamina and fighting spirit. All these attributes were on display at Gloucester Park on Thursday night when he overcame the disadvantage of having to race without cover for almost two laps by scoring a splendid victory in the Garrards Horse And Hound One Stop Shop Pace. Favourite at 13/8 from the outside of the back line, Mighty Flying Thomas simply outstayed his 11 rivals in beating 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun by 4m, with Justlikelindt (28/1) sustaining a strong three-wide burst from fifth at the bell to be third. Mighty Flying Thomas, trained at Bickley by Peter Anderson, has proved to be a stout-hearted stayer since he arrived in WA from New Zealand in July 2012. He has proved to be a specialist over 2536m, the distance of Thursday night's event, having raced six times over that journey for five wins and a second (beaten a nose by Dashing Christian). He also won at his only appearance over 2569m (at Bunbury last November). It was a confident and aggressive drive by Morgan Woodley that paved the way for his latest victory. Mighty Flying Thomas settled down in ninth position and with Ideas Man setting a moderate pace Tom Buchanan vacated the one-out, one-back position with 9/1 chance Mohegan Sun to move into the breeze 650m after the start. Woodley then seized the initiative and sent Mighty Flying Thomas forward, out three wide, to assume the position in the breeze with just under two laps to travel. Woodley was able to get Mighty Flying Thomas to relax as Ideas Man ambled through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.9sec. and 31.6sec. The tempo then increased markedly, with the third quarter being covered in 28.8sec. Mighty Flying Thomas got to the front 250m from the post and easily held Mohegan Sun at bay, with a final quarter in 29.4sec. Mighty Flying Thomas had been placed at his three previous starts at Gloucester Park and Woodley said that the Falcon Seelster six-year-old deserved to break through for another win and break a losing sequence of 13. "He has been knocking on the door," Woodley said. "He's been going tremendously well and has been doing all the work in his races and just coming up short. The easy early sections really worked out well for him." Mighty Flying Thomas, a winner of six races from 27 starts in New Zealand, is proving a good buy for Ian and Hazel Brandon, Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney and Ken Casellas. The gelding cost a little more than $36,000 landed in Western Australia and his record in the State now stands at 36 starts for nine wins, 12 placings and stakes of $102,744. His career record stands at 63 starts for 15 wins, 19 placings and $142,783. Mighty Flying Thomas is the fourth foal out of Fleet's Pocket, who produced talented mare Flying Pocketlands, who has had 90 starts for 21 wins, 29 placings and $442,423. Mighty Flying Thomas is also related to good winners Our Graedy, Passion N Glory and Sparks Will Fly. COPAGRIN JUST LOVES LEADING Noted frontrunner Copagrin broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of eight when Callan Suvaljko drove him to a smart all-the-way victory in the 2536m Garrards Horse And Hound Open Daily Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Seven of his previous eight wins had come after he had set the pace and punters rallied to support him into favouritism at 5/2 when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Copagrin relished the pacemaking role and he sped over the final 800m in 57.1sec. to win comfortably by 5m from 5/1 chance Lord Lombo, who finished gamely after trailing the leader all the way. Copagrin went into the race as an M1 performer against several better-performed rivals, including M6-class runners Red Salute, Crombie and Passion Stride, Whose Mistake (M5) and Benjamin Banneker (M3). He had won once from his previous 25 starts and the strong support for him further illustrates the tremendous advantage horses have from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park. The WA-bred Copagrin, trained at West Swan by John Guagliardo, has been an excellent moneyspinner, with his 59 starts producing 14 wins, 13 placings and stakes of $124,328. By Grinfromeartoear, he is out of Red Hot Copper, whose first foal Copper Beach Girl earned $156,851 from 14 wins and 24 placings from 84 starts. Her wins included the group 3 WASBA Breeders Stakes in May 2011. HALL'S DARING DRIVE PAYS DIVIDENDS A daring drive by Clint Hall paid handsome dividends when Indomitable, the rank outsider at 55/1, scoring a brilliant victory in the Next Payments Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. In an action-packed event Hall took the bit between his teeth and set Indomitable alight as the field of 12 approached the bell. Indomitable, who had settled down in eighth position, charged forward and swept past 45/1 chance La Stella Del Mare, who had produced a lighting burst to charge past the 2/1 favourite Kanata Queen and into the lead 600m after the start. Hall gave Indomitable her head and she sped over the third quarter of the final mile in 28.2sec. to leave her rivals floundering. The final section took 29.7sec. and Indomitable won by three and a half lengths from 11/4 second fancy Four Sisters, who finished determinedly from sixth on the pegs at the bell. Kanata Queen fought on to be third ahead of La Stella Del Mare. The winner, trained at Wanneroo by Barry Morrison, rated a slick 1.54.6 over the 1730m and she boosted her record to seven wins and 12 placings from 39 starts for earnings of $56,537. She is a full-sister to Indomitable Saab, who has amassed $154,491 from 16 wins and 12 placings from 59 starts. "She ran well the last time I drove her in town and they (the opposition) set it up tonight and I was happy to slide around to the breeze," Hall said. "She moved around so quickly that I decided to go on with it and I don't think it would have mattered if she had stayed in the breeze." KERSLEY SALUTES A GLOW BRIGHT EFFORT An exuberant, triumphant victory salute by trainer-reinsman Bill Kersley as Glow Bright passed the post an easy winner of the 2503m Garrards Horse And Hound Supporting Harness Racing Handicap at Gloucester Park on Thursday night was greeted with applause by punters who had supported the WA-bred five-year-old into favouritism at 7/4. Glow Bright, a last-start all-the-way winner in slow time in a 2503m stand nine days earlier, repeated the dose when he got away smartly from the inside of the front line and set a dawdling early pace with opening quarters of the final mile in 32.3sec., and 30.8sec. before Kersley released the brakes and the gelding sprinted over the final two quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.3sec. Glow Bright rated a slow 2.4.9 in beating Pacific Playboy (14/1) by one and a half lengths, with a half-length to Bartowski (16/1) in third place. Referring to the slow early sectionals, the 47-year-old Kersley said: "I'll take it if they give it to me. It's nice to get a winner on a Friday night (even though it was a Thursday night). I'm more than happy to salute every week. "He has done a really good job and is just shy of $100,000 and he's won an M0 tonight. You'd like a lot of them in your stable. I think he can keep earning. He's maturing and every time we give him a break and bring him back he's got mentally and physically stronger. Now he is right on top of his game." Glow Bright was placed twice in group 1 events for two-year-olds in the winter of 2011, finishing third to Major Catastrophe in the Pearl Classic and third to Cyclone Mitch in the State Sires final. NEW OWNERS CASH IN Henley Brook trainer Darryl Howes and his wife Tracey are more than happy that they encouraged a few of their friends to get involved in harness racing a few months ago. Tracey Howes, Wayne and Dianne Riekie, Brad and Rhonda Swinbourn, Barbara McGuire and Archie Laidlaw outlaid $7500 to purchase Senator Whitby when he was advertised for sale. And when Senator Whitby, driven by Chris Lewis, led all the way to score a decisive one-length victory over Last Cheque in the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound Thank You Loyal Customers Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night the WA-bred gelding had boosted his earnings to $8395 for his first-time owners. This was Senator Whitby's seventh start for Howes and the new owners and the small gelding has notched one win, two seconds and a third placing. "They're new owners to the industry and they're all happy," said Howes, who is confident Senator Whitby will continue to perform well. "He is still only young and is still an M0. And he's a little trier who keeps trying, and that's the main thing." Senator Whitby, whose career record stands at 48 starts for seven wins, ten placings and $49,769, is by Artiscape and is out of Zerina Whitby, who earned $107,827 from 15 wins and 13 placings from 53 starts. Senator Whitby is related to dozens of winners, including Fiscal Miss, Remit, Whitbys Miss Penny, Whitby Heritage, Whitby Timer, Whitbys Merit, Montana Anna, La Roya Whitby and Aikido Whitby. SAY IT NOW, FIRST-UP, IS TOO GOOD Hopeland breeder-owner-trainer Kevin Charles produced WA-bred five-year-old Say It Now in fine fettle for his first appearance for five months when the gelding made the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier to lead all the way in the third heat of the 2130m Garrards Horse And Hound The Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Confidently handled by Chris Lewis, the well-supported 5/1 third favourite revelled in his pacemaking role and won decisively from The Black Lord (12/1) and Christian Banner (6/1). Ben Cartwright, the 5/4 favourite, worked hard without cover and dead-heated for fourth with What God Knows. Say It Now, having his first start for five months, contested two trials at Byford before Thursday night's assignment for a 22m fourth behind Mister Sheedy and a 14m third behind Lord Lexus. Say It Now followed quarters of 31.3sec., 30.8sec. and 30.4sec. with a smart final section in 28.3sec. to win well at a 1.59.5 rate. "Kevin thought we would go well, going on his latest trial," Lewis said. "But trials aren't races. It was a bit of a challenge early, but we were able to settle down pretty nicely. He does relax well and that was an advantage. "With a lap to go I didn't really know what I had. I hadn't asked him for an effort and he had travelled well, so I was confident that there was something left in the tank. But you never know until you hit the line." Say It Now, who was bred and is owned by Charles and his son Kody, has earned $80,161 from ten wins and ten placings from 42 starts. As a three-year-old in March 2012 he won the group 3 Country derby at Gloucester Park, beating Major Catastrophe by four lengths, after winning the South-West Derby at Pinjarra, beating Maggies Mystery. He raced 13 times as a four-year-old in New South Wales, winning minor races at Menangle, Newcastle and Penrith. He is related to former champion pacer Preux Chevalier, whose 40 wins from 53 starts in the 1980s included the 1985 interdominion championship at Moonee Valley when he defeated Village Kid. VAPOUR IS LAUREN'S FAVOURITE Four-year-old gelding Vapour and 19-year-old driver Lauren Jones have formed a wonderful partnership in recent weeks --- and they kept up the good work with an exciting victory in the 2130m Sully's Painting Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. Jones, a recent arrival from Queensland, has settled in well as a stablehand at leading trainer Gary Hall senior's Serpentine establishment and she has driven the Hall-trained Vapour seven times for four wins and three third placings. "Something clicks and he's my favourite horse in the stable," said Jones after Vapour had finished strongly to gain a last-stride victory by a nose over 5/4 favourite Tuapeka Kahu. Vapour, second fancy at 5/2, started from the outside of the front line and Jones restrained the gelding back to a conspicuous last, about 30m from the early leader Franco Jackson. Tuapeka Kahu was working hard in the breeze and Jones drove patiently. Vapour was ninth at the bell, following the three-wide run of Knight Crusader. Knight Crusader began to wilt in the back straight and Jones switched Vapour four wide 300m from home. Tupeka Kahu then took the lead with 220m to travel, but he was overhauled in the final stride by the flying Vapour, who sprinted over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and rated 1.58.8. Vapour, by American stallion Jeremes Jet, is the first foal out of Christian Cullen mare Enjoy. He has had 13 starts in Western Australia for seven wins and five placings after racing 16 times in New Zealand for three wins and five placings. by Ken Casellas  

Elegant Christian ran a dazzling trial for the $200,000 WA Derby next Friday night when he gave a sparkling frontrunning display to win the $50,000 TABtouch Western Gateway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I'll take them on again next week and I think we'll have a similar result," declared Clint Hall after driving the inexperienced New Zealand-bred gelding, hot favourite at 3/1 on, to a stylish victory over Classic American (54/1) and Eyre Crusher (14/1) to give master trainer Gary Hall sen. the trifecta which returned a dividend of $340.10 for a $1 investment. Hall sen. now has won the Western Gateway Pace three times, having driven The Falcon Strike to victory in 2001 and scoring with Alta Christiano in 2013 when the colt was driven by Gary Hall jun. Elegant Christian now has won at six of his seven starts, all in Western Australia, with his only defeat coming at the start before Friday night's success, when he was suffering from a mouth ulcer and hang in badly throughout before finishing a half-head second to Mister Jadore. This problem has been cured and the Hall camp is looking forward to the Derby with great confidence. Elegant Christian burst straight to the front from the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night and dashed over the lead time in a slick 35.6sec. when challenged early by Bettor Offer, who mustered plenty of early pace from the outside of the front line. Hall then was able to get Elegant Christian to relax and go through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.3sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting the third quarter in 28.2sec. and coming home in 29.1sec. to record a smart mile rate of 1.56.1 over the 2130m. Elegant Christian's stablemate Machtu, second favourite at 4/1, settled in eighth place before Kim Prentice sent him forward to move to third, out three wide, at the bell. Machtu fought on grandly to finish fifth, with Bettor Offer wilting to seventh. Fourth place went to Mister Jadore, who had followed the three-wide run of Machtu. The win boosted Elegant Christian's earnings to $92,540. Classic American, driven by Chris Voak, was most impressive. He was last in the field of 12 at the bell before unleashing a brilliant finishing burst, out wide of the track. Eyre Crusher trailed the pacemaking Elegant Christian throughout and was badly blocked for a clear passage in the concluding stages. "We expected some early pressure after his last-start defeat," said Clint Hall. "But we were very happy and confident with the horse leading into the race. I thought it would be detrimental to the chances of any horse who took Elegant Christian on early, and I think that was shown in the end. "Elegant Christian is a terrific horse. Down the back I wasn't quite sure how much he had left. He never really travels like that he's got that much left. But once I let him down he had plenty left. I knew I had the two outside of him beaten and I was just worried about Eyre Crusher then. "He's a typical Christian Cullen. He goes to the gate charging and as soon as they move away from his head he just drops the bit and does what we ask him to do." SOHO VALENCIA GETS UP IN THE FINAL STRIDE Victorian-bred five-year-old Soho Valencia further illustrated his wonderful potential and showed that he would be a major player in the feature summer carnival events next season with a fighting victory in the 2130m Princi Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Shannon Suvaljko drove a canny race in front with polemarker Franco Torres, the 8/1 third favourite behind Soho Valencia (7/4 on) and Lovers Delight (11/2) and he just failed, with Soho Valencia being fully extended in getting up to snatch victory by a nose. Soho Valencia, trained by Gary Hall sen., started from barrier three on the back line and Clint Hall settled the horse into eighth position in the one-wide line after Franco Torres had recorded a modest lead time of 37.4sec. and a first quarter in only 30.6sec. Suvaljko then increased the tempo and Franco Torres reeled off the next three quarters in 29.7sec., 27.8sec. and 28.6sec.Hall started a three-wide move with Soho Valencia approaching the bell and the horse was eighth with a lap to travel. Hall had to drive Soho Valencia hard to gain a last-stride victory by the barest possible margin. The winner rated 1.56.4 and boosted his record to 20 wins, nine placings and $320,902 from 36 starts. He has raced four times in Western Australian for two wins and two seconds. "They drove clever races up front and our hands were tied," said Clint Hall. "We had to come with one run. We thought we would save him up a bit longer tonight and come out about the 800m. If we had come out at the 1200m it might have made the difference (winning more convincingly). "Once I pulled the plugs (after turning for home) he felt like he was going to get the leader. But the leader kept kicking and made him fight it out right to the line." The stewards fined Hall $200 for an incorrect whip action in the final stages of the race. MISTER SHEEDY GIVES JONES A BIRTHDAY PRESENT Former Victorian pacer Mister Sheedy gave Lauren Jones, a recent arrival in Western Australia from Queensland, a wonderful 19th birthday present at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he scored a game win in the 2130m TAB Funding The Industry Pace. Mister Sheedy was driven confidently by Jones and his win gave master trainer Gary Hall sen. the first of four winners on the ten-event program. He was also successful with Alta Christiano, Soho Valencia and Elegant Christian. But celebrations were dampened somewhat when Mister Sheedy pulled up after the race with a fractured nearside pedal bone, an injury which will keep him out of action for at least 12 months and could quite likely spell the end of his racing career. For Jones, who answered an advertisement a couple of months ago to work for the powerful Hall training establishment in Serpentine, this was her first Metropolitan-class success in the State. Mister Sheedy, a six-year-old and winner of 13 races from only 39 Victorian starts, was making his WA debut on Friday night. He was drawn to start from the outside (barrier two) on the back line in a field of nine and was heavily supported to start favourite at 6/4 on. Polemarker Kotare Ash, second fancy at 9/2, withstood an early challenge from Anvils Big Punt and after she went through the lead time in a reasonable 37.1sec., Jones, who had settled Mister Sheedy in the favourable one-out, one-back position, seized the initiative and sent the gelding forward with a three-wide burst to move into the breeze 100m later. Kotare Ash began to wilt approaching the home turn and Jones sent Mister Sheedy to the front with 150m to travel. He went on to win at a 1.59.9 rate over the 2130m journey by one metre from 22/1 chance Rojen Cruz, who was seventh at the bell and charged home out six wide on the track. A close third was 12/1 chance Anvils Big Punt, who raced without cover early before gaining the one-out, one-back sit behind Mister Sheedy. Mister Sheedy, by American stallion Presidential Ball, has earned $85,688 from 14 wins and 13 placings from 40 starts. He had been unplaced at his final four Victorian starts and was having his first start since finishing ninth in a 1720m event at Melton last November. He is the second foal out of New South Wales-bred mare Intoxicating (by Chandon) who had 47 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $79,060. PEMBROOK HENRY ENDS LOSING RUN OF 34 Veteran New Zealand-bred pacer Pembrook Henry is thriving on racing and after breaking a losing sequence of 34 by winning the 2503m TAB Bet Today Collect Today Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night reinsman Chris Lewis predicted further successes for the hardy nine-year-old. "If he begins as fast as he did tonight there's definitely a few more wins in him," said Lewis after Pembrook Henry, a 9/1 chance, had begun speedily from barrier five on the front line in the stand and led all the way. "You like to see them jump away that quick and that was a boost to his confidence (getting straight to the front). Then we were able to get the sections we needed and he hit the line fairly solidly." Pembrook Henry, trained by Ross Olivieri, had finished second at each of his four runs since resuming in late February after a two-month break. His task on Friday night was made easier by the scratching of noted frontrunner and last-start winner Major Fury and the bad manners of polemarker and 5/2 favourite Copagrin, who galloped at the start and dropped back to fifth. Frontmarker Maggies Mystery also was slow to begin and Lewis was able to shoot Pembrook Henry straight to the front. Callan Suvaljko dashed Copagrin forward, three wide, in the first lap to move into the breeze after a lap had been completed. After opening sections of the final mile in 31.1sec. and 30.8sec., Lewis gave the opposition little chance as he urged Pembrook Henry to move up a gear. The oldstager, owned by Montana Stark, sprinted the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.2sec,. and he won by just over a length from Copagrin, with Compact Rocket finishing third after trailing the leader all the way. Pembrook Henry, whose previous win was at Melton in July 2012, is the latest beneficiary of the drop-down rule which enables pacers handicapped M2 or better to drop down one classification after every losing sequence of ten. Pembrook Henry arrived in Western Australia in the winter of 2012 as an M3-class pacer and he has dropped back to an M1 mark which enabled him to start off the front line in Friday night's event. Now a winner of one race from 21 WA starts, Pembrook Henry won three races in New Zealand and 11 times in Victoria. WILKINS LUCINDA RELISHES THE INSIDE DRAW The tremendous advantage of the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park was further illustrated on Friday night when Wilkins Lucinda, a four-year-old mare with a losing sequence of nine, made full use of the inside draw by setting a fast pace and scoring an easy win in the 1730m Gannons Pace for mares. Most punters took little heed of her favourable barrier and the Noel Keiley-trained mare was a 10/1 chance, with Jungle Genie favourite at 7/4 on from barrier two on the back line. Aldo Cortopassi got Wilkins Lucinda away to a flying start and the mare gave her rivals very little chance by speeding over the final four 400m sections in 28.5sec., 29.5sec., 29sec. and 28.4sec. She recorded a slick 1.54.8 rate and took her record for owner Stan Wilkins to 39 starts for seven wins, 13 placings and stakes of $80,979, a figure boosted by her third to Lucky Joy in the group 1 $100,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old fillies in July 2012 and her win in a $25,000 listed classic for three-year-olds last June. By Rich And Spoilt, Wilkins Lucinda is the fourth foal out of Shoneer Lobell, who won five races in New South Wales and five in WA for earnings of $52,353. Wilkins Lucinda is a full-sister to Sheer Dreams (157 starts for 19 wins, 47 placings and $153,994) and Sweet Charlee (67 starts for 11 wins, 17 placings and $77,630). Cortopassi said that he had given Wilkins Lucinda an excellent winning chance after driving her the previous Friday night when she had to be retired with broken gear. "Forget last week," he said. "She was going extremely well when she broke a hopple. And tonight I was not worried after she had run the opening quarter in 28.5sec. She actually had her ears pricked. She was happy in doing what she was doing, just happy to be rolling along. So I let her do what she wanted." AROUSING FOLLOWING IN HER DAM'S FOOTSTEPS Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri's honest mare Arousing maintained her consistent form when she was driven a treat by Kristian Hawkins to win the 2130m The West Australian Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Arousing, who has earned $86,818 from nine wins and 22 placings from 82 starts, is following the steps of her dam Roustabout, who showed considerable promise with two wins in New Zealand and two in WA before being retired with earnings of $33,171 after only 12 starts. Roustabout, by Christian Cullen, showed her class by winning the group 3 Empress Stakes from Precious Maiden and Sovereign Beejay at Gloucester Park in March 2006. Arousing is her first foal and Arousing's younger half-sister Loving You finished third behind Frith in the group 1 WA Oaks last year and has a record of 33 starts for seven wins, 11 placings and $70,292. Hawkins drove Arousing at Gloucester Park for the second time at her previous start three weeks earlier when the mare finished sixth behind Southern Legacy. He admitted after Friday night's victory that he was to blame for the mare's unplaced effort, saying: "I slaughtered her at her last start, so I knew I had to be patient this week whereas I wasn't at her previous run." Arousing, favourite at 11/4 from the No. 2 barrier, challenged unsuccessfully for the early lead, but polemarker Chillin Dylan (13/4) held up and Hawkins cleverly slotted Arousing in behind the pacemaker 200m after the start. The Oyster Bar (3/1) broke into a gallop after 200m and outsider Touch Me Toes moved up to race in the breeze, giving My Bachelors Delight a perfect sit, one-out and one-back. Arousing appeared to be in all sorts of trouble half-way down the back straight in the final circuit when Chillin Dylan began to weaken, shuffling Arousing back to fifth. Hawkins kept his composure and eventually was able to ease Arousing off the pegs 350m from home. Arousing finished determinedly to hit the front close to home and win by a half-length from My Bachelors Delight, who had taken the lead with 520m to travel and had opened up a, lead of two lengths at the 100m mark. "I knew I had plenty of horse in my hands, but Aiden's horse (Aiden De Campo's My Bachelors Delight) had a pretty handy break on me at the right time," Hawkins said. "It just came down to a bit of luck when we got out." LITTLE BOY BLUE IS A GREAT INVESTMENT How do you multiply an investment by five times? It's simple. Buy your wife a pacer for $10,000 and watch it as he earns $50,660m in the space of eight months. That's what Waroona horseman Bob Mellsop did last July. He outlaid $10,000 to purchase Little Boy Blue Blue to give to his wife Val as a birthday present. Little Boy Blue, driven by Kiara Davies, set a fast pace and outclassed his rivals in the TAB Radio Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His four-length victory over I Am Legend took his record for his new owner to five wins and six placings from 19 starts. And that boosted the New Zealand-bred five-year-old's career record to 58 starts for 13 wins, 20 placings and $117,276. Everything fell into place for Little Boy Blue, who started from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and second favourite at 11/4. Polemarker Carters Rocket, an all-the-way winner the previous week, galloped badly at the start and dropped back to a distant last and I Am Legend paced roughly after starting from barrier two. Davies grabbed the heaven-sent opportunity to dash Little Boy Blue straight to the front and the gelding charged through the lead time in a fast 35.4sec. as he established a three-length lead over I Am Legend. This left the 7/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas in the breeze. Davies let Little Boy Blue roll along in the lead and he sped over the final two quarters in 29.2sec. and 28.6sec. to leave his nine rivals floundering in his wake. I Am Legend fought on to be second, almost a length in front of Mighty Flying Thomas. The winner rated a smart 1.55.8 over the 2130m trip. "When the one galloped and the two went rough, I just went for it," Davies said. "And once I saw them coming (in the back straight in the final lap) I thought I'd get them running because Little Boy Blue is pretty hard to catch once he gets going." CONNIVING MAJOR DAVE BOUNCES BACK Tenth placings at each of at his past two appearance and just one minor placing from his past seven starts did not deter many smart punters who cashed in when Aiden De Campo drove Conniving Major Dave to victory in the 2130m British Night Next Friday Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Conniving Major Dave started from barrier four on the front line and he enjoyed a perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position before finishing boldly to defeat the pacemaker Ohoka Squire (9/2) by a neck, with Grand Cru fighting on from sixth at the bell to be third. "His past two starts weren't his fault," said de Campo. "It was probably my fault, hitting a couple of wheels. He trialled well on Wednesday when he got over Dasher VC, sitting on him and running a quick last half. "Tonight I was pretty confident if he got the right sit and steered tractably. He got down a bit on the last bend which cost us a length or so. But he was still good enough to win. He's got a lot to learn and I really like the horse. He's got a bit of toughness and, hopefully, he can win a couple more." Conniving Major Dave, trained by de Campo's father Andrew, has earned $44,913 from eight wins and six placings from 29 starts. He has raced 17 times in WA for five wins and five placings. His dam Kind Martar is a younger sister of Pocket of Grace, who had 210 starts for 30 wins (16 in Queensland and 14 in New South Wales) and 41 placings for stakes of $160,975. HIGH FIVE MOZZA BREAKS THROUGH AT LAST Punters rallied to support High Five Mozza in the 2130m Sky Racing Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, not because he went into the race with a losing sequence of 34 and had not managed a minor placing at his most recent nine starts, but because he had drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier. He was solidly supported to start favourite at 11/8 in a particularly weak field. Then everything went according to the script. Shannon Suvaljko jumped the New South Wales-bred six-year-old straight to the front. After a moderate lead time of 38.2sec. and a slow first quarter in 31.2sec. High Five Mozza broke 30sec. for the next three quarters to win by just under a length from 9/2 chance Will of Iron, who ran on from sixth at the bell. High Five Mozza, prepared at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, finally repaid the trainer for her perseverance and patience. The gelding had managed six placings from his first 32 starts in WA before Friday night's success. He won ten races in New South Wales (eight at Penrith and once each at Bankstown and Newcastle and had six starts in Victoria for one win before arriving in WA. by Ken Casellas  

High-priced New Zealand import Libertybelle Midfrew gave a sample of her class with an effortless victory at her Australian debut in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. Trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and driven by Shannon Suvaljko, Libertybelle Midfrew, favourite at 3/1 on, started from the outside of the front line and was restrained to last before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst which took her from sixth at the bell to the front 400m from home. She dashed over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 29.8sec. and was not extended in beating All About Pink by more than two lengths at a 1.58.5 rate. The filly was bought by Perth businessman Albert Walmsley and is being set for the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 9. “I went to New Zealand two months ago to buy a yearling at the sales in Christchurch, but changed my mind and bought Libertybelle Midfrew instead,” Walmsley said. Libertybelle Midfrew (by Christian Cullen) had 11 starts in New Zealand for one win and four placings for stakes of $131,012. She scored a five-length victory in the $156,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Alexandra Park in April of last year. She was placed at three of her final four New Zealand starts behind star Mach Three filly Venus Serena, who has amassed $503,622 from 11 wins from 16 starts. 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  

Friday night was a red letter night at Gloucester Park for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg, who completed her first city treble when Shannon Suvaljko drove 9/2 chance Hez Got the Nod to a decisive all-the-way victory in the 2503m Carilley Estate Handicap. She had been successful earlier with The Feather Foot (11/2) and Franco Torres, a 57/1 tote outsider. Her three winners were in the first, second and fourth legs of the quadrella, which paid a massive dividend of $84,593. Her husband John, the managing part-owner of the trio, loves to dabble and he left the course rubbing his hands with typical unihibited glee. Debbie, far less extroverted than her ebullient husband, took the feat in her stride, but admitted it was a thrill to land her first Metropolitan treble after having held a trainer's licence for 30 years. "They're all nice horses, nothing too special, and they will just keep on racing and doing their job," she said. "I think I have had four or five trebles on country tracks." She attributed Hez Got The Nod's success to a return to standing-start racing, saying: "He was in mobiles and was going no good, so we returned to stands with him." This was Hez Got The Nod's second run in a stand after only one placing at his four previous starts in mobiles. He also led when he won a Gloucester Park stand before Friday night's race. He also won two stands at Gloucester Park in September and a stand at Northam in December. "We bought him for $25,000 after he had won once from 22 starts in New Zealand and four times from 11 starts in New South Wales," said John Padberg. The Grinfromeartoear five-year-old now has had 15 starts in WA for Padberg and Jodie Foster for five wins, four placings and stakes of $35,510. The gelding has graduated to an M1 classification with a record of 48 starts for ten wins, 20 placings and $66,216. "He's so reliable that he'll earn a bucket load of money out of the stands," said Padberg. Last-start winner Major Fury was a heavily-backed even-money favourite in Friday night's race, but he scrambled into his gear from the inside barrier and was beaten out by Hez Got the Nod, from the No. 2 barrier. Callan Suvaljko then trailed Hez Got The Nod, who covered the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 30.6sec. before sprinting over the final two quarters in 29.5sec. and 28.9sec. to win by just under two lengths from Major Fury, with just over a length to Pacific Black, who sustained a spirited three-wide burst from the rear. Hez Got the Nod's maternal granddam Janet Quill produced good winners Dartmoor and Mevagissey. Dartmoor, who won the Australian Pacing Championship at Gloucester Park in March 2008, beating No Blue Manna and Hayton Brain, is still racing in Victoria and has a record of 33 wins and 48 placings from 214 starts for earnings of $400,551. Mevagissey had 141 starts for 17 wins, 27 placings and $171,709. POLAK AND KIMES, A WINNING COMBINATION Five-year-old Polak and reinsman Clint Kimes are a winning combination and Kimes was more than happy to resume as Polak's driver in the $21,000 Mulberry On Swan Autumn Championship, taking over from champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who is enjoying a break, cruising the high seas. Kimes drove with considerable confidence and aggression to score an upset victory over the 10/1 on favourite David Hercules, who just failed to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at No. 6 and being forced to race wide. Kimes now has driven the Mike Reed-trained Polak six times for three wins, a second, a third and a seventh. Polak, second favourite at 10/1, started from barrier three and Kimes drove him hard, three wide, before getting past the polemarker Son of Fergie and into the lead after 300m. Morgan Woodley restrained David Hercules to last in the field of nine and when Gary Hall started a three-wide move with Passion Stride after 500m, Woodley followed with David Hercules, who went four wide at the bell in a bid to breach the gap from the pacemaker. David Hercules fought on with typical grit and determination and was beaten by 2m, with the winner rating a smart 1.54.6 after covering the final sectionals in 28.5sec., 29.3sec., 28sec. and 29.4sec. Passion Stride, who was switched to the pegs in the final few hundred metres, finished gamely into third place, just ahead of This Time Dylan, who sustained a strong finishing burst. Max Wimbridge, a part-owner of the winner, was excited at the win and said: "We've been looking for a good draw and we got it tonight. And I think we proved that good draws win races. "One of the owners (Roy Patterson) will be disappointed because he's on a cruise ship and the other one (Stephen Schmedje) is still down in Esperance county his money after selling his farm." Polak has been an excellent investment for Wimbridge, Patterson and Schmedje, having earned $177,695 from 16 wins and 16 placings from 58 starts. He was purchased for just $15,000 at the 2010 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale and is a full-brother to Schinzig Buller, who has earned $290,837 from 11 wins and 13 placings from 55 starts. His wins included the group 2 Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings in February 2007 and the group 1 Golden Nugget in November 2008 when he defeated Mysta Magical Mach and Im Themightyquinn. Polak is also a full-brother to three-year-old filly Lipizzaner, who led and won a race at Gloucester Park last Tuesday. BIRTHDAY BOY EDWARDS NOTCHES FIRST CITY WINNER Luke Edwards celebrated his 24th birthday on Sunday in style by driving his first Metropolitan-class winner at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he gave a polished display to score an emphatic victory with The Feather Foot in the 2130m Tony O'Driscoll Pace. Edwards, who was granted a licence to drive in the city in January, had The Feather Foot in the breeze for the first 150m before gaining the one-out, one-back trail behind The Black Lord, who was forced to work in the breeze with the 5/4 favourite Chocolatto having an easy time in front with a dawdling lead time of 38.4sec. and a leisurely first 400m section of the final mile in 31.9sec. Edwards was forced to take off earlier than planned when Kristian Hawkins started a three-wide move with Pembrook Henry 700m metres from home, threatening to put The Feather Foot in restricted room. Edwards switched The Feather Foot three wide at the 650m mark and the WA-bred seven-year-old sprinted fast (with the third quarter whizzing by in 28.1sec.) as he charged past Chocolatto with 400m to travel. The Feather Foot covered the final quarter in 28.9sec. and won by more than two lengths from Pembrook Henry (15/1), with Veitchy (28/1) finishing strongly from the rear to be a close third. The winner rated 1.58.9. The Feather Foot, by former champion pacer The Falcon Strike, started at 11/2 and ended a losing sequence of 29. However, he has proved a wonderful acquisition for owners John Padberg, Edwards, his younger brother Isaac, Kiara Davies and Michael Tenardi. They claimed the gelding last July for a mere $4000 and his 20 starts for trainer Debbie Padberg he has won once and been placed eight times for stakes of $22,603. The Feather Foot now has amassed $157,471 from 13 wins and 21 placings from 89 starts. He won the $100,000 group 1 State Sires Series final for three-year-old colts and geldings in July 2010, beating Erris Lad and Thomas With Steam. His maternal granddam Maybe Rich (a winner of ten races) produced six winners, including Fac Et Spiro, who had 85 starts for 23 wins, 30 placings and stakes of $386,695. Edwards, who drove Myouri to victory in an $8000 Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park in mid-February, said he was confident that The Feather Foot would prove hard to beat on Friday night despite finishing ninth in a field of ten behind Rowchester the previous Friday night. "He had a soft run along the pegs and was climbing all over them, but didn't get a clear run," he said. "And at his previous start he was beaten a nose by Shifting Sand. We put him in the race tonight and he was good enough to do the job. I had to go a bit earlier than I would have liked, but if I hadn't he would have been in a pocket. "He will strip fitter at his next start and I reckon he's got another two or three wins in him." Edwards also is hoping for further successes with Gamblers Power, a filly he trains and has driven to two wins at Northam this season. Edwards has no family background in horses. "About four years ago my boss had horses with Kevin Keys and I had my first involvement with horses, working with youngsters with him," he said. "I started to go through the reinsmen's school and then John and Debbie offered me a job as a stablehand. "Debbie gave me a few horses to drive in trials and when I graduated from the reinsmen's school I started working full-time with the Padbergs." SOUTHERN LEGACY LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS Breeding suggests that Southern Legacy will continue her wonderful consistent form and win many more races for owner-trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice. Southern Legacy, a 10/1 chance, raced three back on the pegs before finishing powerfully to score an easy victory over 82/1 outsider La Stella Del Mare and Mene Jaccka (22/1) in the 2130m Sully's Painting Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. It was a dream price for the five-year-old, who was having her seventh start after a spell. Her previous six runs had produced two wins, one second and three thirds. Punters rallied to support the polemarker Bonsu, who was sent out at 6/4 on. Bonsu set the pace for Shannon Suvaljko before wilting to finish fourth, with Southern Legacy charging to the front in the final 50m to win at a 1.57.8 rate and take her record to 23 starts for five wins, ten placings and $69,911. Southern Legacy, by Canadian sire Northern Luck, is out of Lady Legacy. She did not race as a two-year-old and showed early promise when, at her third start, finished second to the brilliant Sensational Gabby in the WA Oaks in May 2012. Southern Legacy's dam Lady Legacy raced 23 times for five wins and one placings for stakes of $23,280 before producing six winners, including Scram jet (172 starts for 24 wins, 42 placings and $235,076) and Pride of Colorado (67 starts for 14 wins, 14 placings and $125,013). Lady Legacy's dam Fiscal Miss (15 wins and $53,854) produced 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). Fiscal Miss was out of smart mare Remit, whose eight winners included Whitby Heritage (66 starts for 22 wins, 18 placings and $201,758), Whitby Timer (44 starts for 23 wins, eight placings and $314,899) and Whitbys Merit (14 starts for ten wins, two placings and $168,598). FRANCO TORRES BUCKS ALL THE ODDS Six-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Franco Torres went into the 2130m first heat of the Burswood On Swan Clarke Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night as the rank tote outsider at 57/1 for three reasons: he had drawn out wide at barrier five, he had finished tenth at his most recent start and was an M2-class performer competing against three M3-class pacers and four M4 horses. However, he bucked the odds and caused a major upset when he stormed home from seventh at the bell to race away and score an easy victory, beating Danieljohn by more than two lengths, with Uppy Son (13/4) a half-length away in third place. Lord Coburn, an easy all-the-way winner at his two previous starts and drawn the prized No. 1 barrier, was all the rage and started favourite at 10/9 on. Lord Coburn led easily, with Black Pontiac in the breeze, Uppy Son on the pegs behind the pacemaker and Mighty Flying Thomas one-out and one-back. The pace slackened after about 500m and Morgan Woodley wisely took off with Mighty Flying Thomas after 650m in a bid to move alongside the pacemaker. But the move was foiled when 25/1 chance Black Pontiac's hind legs contacted the sulky and made him pull hard. This left Mighty Flying Thomas out on a limb, three wide. Franco Torres was seventh at the bell and 50m later Shannon Suvaljko switched him three wide to follow Mighty Flying Thomas, who eventually got to second in the back straight. But he was a spent force and Franco Torres burst to the front 250m from home before racing away from his rivals. Uppy Son pulled up lame in the near foreleg. Suvaljko was fined $200 by the stewards for having crossed his hands to use the whip before the final 200m mark. Franco Torres, trained by Debbie Padberg and owned by John Padberg and David and Alison Wiggers, won twice in New Zealand and three times in New South Wales before being purchased for $25,000. He now has raced 67 times for 11 wins, 18 placings and $89,338. He is a half-brother to Franco The Man, who has earned $185,496 from 19 wins and 28 placings from 105 starts. He is also related to This Time Franco (36 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and $249,151), Franco Thunder (178 starts for 44 wins, 43 placings and $199,928) and Franco Tiger (116 starts for 43 wins, 36 placings and $991,387). VOAK'S TACTICS PAY OFF WITH BET THE MAX There was action aplenty in the 2536m Community Newspaper Group Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night before the innovative Chris Voak triumphed with 11/2 chance Bet The Max. The first surprise came when good frontrunner Waipawa Junior, the 13/4 second fancy from the No. 1 barrier, was crossed by 10/1 chance Elusive Courage, who began speedily from barrier three. Christian Banner, favourite at 2/1, was restrained from the outside barrier back to last in the field of ten. Bet The Max started from barrier two on the back line and settled down in sixth position before Voak vacated the one-wide position and urged the gelding forward in a dashing bid for the lead. Bet The Max sprinted fast and got a length and a quarter in front of Elusive Courage, but was unable to cross to the lead. Voak then restrained Bet The Max and tried to slot in behind the pacemaker. But Bet the Max broke into a gallop and Voak had to abandon that manoeuvre as Colin Brown kicked up with Waipawa Junior to retain the position behind the leader. Voak quickly got Bet The Max back into a pacing action and the gelding was left in the breeze. Elusive Courage then dawdled through the opening quarter of the final mile in 32.4sec. before Luke Edwards brought outsider Myouri with a fast burst from the rear to join the leader and stablemate Elusive Courage 1350m from home, thus providing Bet The Max with the one-out, one-back sit. Myouri got to the front 430m from home, but was unable to hold off the strong-finishing Bet The Max and Christian Banner. The final quarter was run in 28.5sec. and the winner, who is owned by Harry Capararo and trained at Northam by Lang Inwood, rated 2.1.8. Bet The Max surged to the front at the 100m mark and went on to win by 2m from Christian Banner, who finished determinedly, three wide, from seventh at the bell to be second, almost a length in front of Myouri. The New Zealand-bred Bet The Max ended a losing sequence of 15, stretching back to an all-the-way Albany win 14 months ago, and he now has had 61 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $49,064. Voak, who was driving Bet the Max for the first time, was fined $100 for careless driving in that he reduced the speed dramatically when he tried to restrain Bet The Max to obtain the run behind the leader. This caused the gelding to break into a gallop. WOTAVUGOT SHOWS THAT HE HAS GOT WHAT IT TAKES New Zealand-bred six-year-old Wotavugot certainly is not in the same league as his half-brother Chancellor Cullen, but he certainly gave a most impressive display when he outclassed his eight rivals in very modest company in the 2130m Make Smoking History Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Driven with extreme confidence by Chris Brew for Barragup trainer Laurie Groves, Wotavugot, a son of In The Pocket and a heavily-supported 5/2 on favourite, charged to the front 80m after the start and gave a bold frontrunning display to win by just under 11 lengths from Fully Zapped, rating 1.58.6 after final quarters in 28.4sec. and 29.1sec. This ended a losing sequence of 17, stretching back to a win in a stand at Narrogin in June 2012. Chancellor Cullen, who has had 43 starts for 16 wins, 11 placings and $363,752, is remembered by WA harness racing fans for his half-head victory over Bronze Seeker in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park in November 2012. Wotavugot had 24 starts in New Zealand for seven wins and seven placings. His four wins and four placings from 22 starts have boosted his earnings to $61,257. MANTOMAN TOO TOUGH FOR BOOFSHALFBROTHER New South Wales-bred seven-year-old Mantoman gave a strong staying performance to record a fighting victory over Boofshalfbrother and Franco Jackson in the 2130m Spices Group Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Michael Brennan-trained gelding was driven for the first time by Gary Hall jun. and was a well-supported 13/4 chance from barrier four on the front line. Boofshalfbrother (9/1) took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier and he set the pace, with opening quarters of the final mile in 31.6sec. and 30.7sec. Hall moved Mantoman into the breeze after 400m when Colin Brown switched Franco Jackson to take the trail behind the leader after being first out from barrier two, but being unable to cross Boofshalfbrother. After a third quarter in 28.4sec. Mantoman moved alongside Boofshalfbrother and got to the front 150m from the post. Boofshalfbrother fought back grimly and went down by only a neck after a final quarter in 29.1sec. Franco Jackson battled on into third place, with the 2/1 favourite Shnappy faded to eighth after racing three wide in the middle stages. Mantoman, by Art Major, is out of Pretty Inpink, a mare who earned $103,492 from 15 wins and ten placings from 47 starts. Mantoman won 12 times in New South Wales and he has had 16 starts in WA for two wins and one placing. His earnings stand at $89,427. SMOOTH CAESAR UPSETS SOHO JACKMAN Big eight-year-old gelding Smooth Caesar outmuscled the opposition when he finished with great spirit to beat 2/1 on favourite Soho Jackman in the first heat of the 2130m Red Pepper Catering Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Marie Bingham, and trained and driven by Pinjarra horseman Kim Young, Smooth Caesar started from the coveted No. 1 barrier, but was a 10/1 chance despite a last-start second at Pinjarra and a win on the same track three starts before that. Last-start winner and a 4/1 tote outsider Oneheart Twofists began brilliantly from barrier six and Matt White had the gelding in front after 220m, giving Smooth Caesar a favourable sit on the pegs. Soho Jackman, from the outside of the back line, settled down in 11th position before Gary Hall jun. took him three wide approaching the bell. Soho Jackman sustained his effort and took the lead 100m from the post. But he was unable to hold out Smooth Caesar, who got the upper hand in the final 50m and scored by 2m at a 1.56.7 rate. Smooth Caesar has had 82 starts for 11 wins, 21 placings and $87,487 in prizemoney. WHOS MISTAKE THE FIRST OF SIX WINNERS FOR HALL Veteran pacer Whos Mistake got leading reinsman Gary Hall junior's weekend away to a flying start when he led all the way in the 2130m Munja Gardens Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall completed a double later in the program when he was successful Mantoman and he travelled to Bunbury on Saturday night where he drove four winners --- Truckers Buckeroo, Rocky Pop, Pelusiac and Ben Cartwright. Whos Mistake, trained by Gary Hall sen., was favourite at 6/4 on and he gave punters little cause for concern as he set a solid pace and scored by 4m from 10/1 chance Pride of Colorado, who put up a great performance to fight on doggedly after racing three wide for most of the race. Whos Mistake, owned by Doug Webster, has been a most reliable performer who has earned $148,710 from 18 wins and 25 placings from 124 starts. by Ken Casellas  

Marooned, a seven-year-old gelding, who boasted a losing sequence of 20 when he was claimed for $10,000 ten weeks ago, delighted his new owners when he stormed home from the rear to win the $50,000 Channel Nine Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A tote outsider at 46/1, Marooned was handled expertly by Chris Voak and his victory over the heavily-supported 9/2 third favourite Northern Assassin and Copagin (10/1) came as a major surprise. There were six claims lodged for Marooned when he contested a claimer at Gloucester Park on November 29 and Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott was exceedingly happy when he was successful in the ballot. Marooned, who is raced by Scott, his wife Janine, their son Matt and friends Tony Maguire, Alison Tilt and the Manton brothers, is proving a splendid acquisition, with his first eight starts since entering Matt Scott's Serpentine stables producing two wins and a second placing for stakes of $42,845. The New South Wales-bred Marooned was able to contest the heats of the Binshaw Classic, restricted to M1-class pacers, because his classification was reduced from an M2 mark to M1 after he had extended his losing sequence to ten last August. He started out wide from barrier six on the front line in Friday night's 2130m final and Voak eased him back to race on the pegs. Polemarker Shnappy, the 3/1 favourite, set the pace after resisting a strong early challenge from Atlastalone. The pace was solid throughout, and after each of the first two 400m sections of the final mile went by in 29.4sec., Shnappy sprinted the third quarter in 28.6sec. Northern Assassin, ninth in the first lap, started a three-wide move approaching the bell and he got to a narrow lead 300m from home and looked the winner until Marooned flew home out wide on the track. Marooned was tucked away in the pegs in ninth position at the bell. He was still ninth when Voak eased him off the inside with 400m to travel. Marooned then went four wide and was sixth on the home turn before charging home to burst to the lead in the closing stages. The final quarter took 29.5sec. and the winner rated 1.57. Copagin, who raced three back on the pegs, finished boldly, out wide, to be a neck away in third place, with Shnappy wilting to fourth. "Last week his run (fourth to Copagrin) was a hell of a lot better than what it looked," Voak said. "I don't think we would have been any match for Copagrin, but I reckon if he had got clear a little earlier he would have run second. "Often in these type of races, with the hot speed, you need a lot of luck, and we got that. But by the same token the horse still has to be good enough to hit the line. And tonight he certainly ate it up. I drove Marooned for Matt early in December and he finished strongly to beat This Time Dylan (who went on to finish third to Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the WA Pacing Cup). If This Time Dylan was in tonight's field he probably would have been the $2 favourite." When Marooned won from This Time Dylan he sprinted the final 800m in 56.7sec. and the last quarter in 27.6sec. and Voak admitted to Matt Scott that the gelding was quite a bit better than he had anticipated. Friday night's win, paying $46.80 on the tote, was one of several successes by the gelding at handsome odds. His New South Wales successes included wins at $44.70 at Wagga and $17.60 and $48.70 at Menangle. By American stallion Hare Hare, Marooned has earned $145,722 from 17 wins and 15 placings from 72 starts. The victory continued the 25-year-old Voak's great run of successes this season. With 63 wins he is in second place behind Gary hall jun. (72) on the Statewide premiership. He is equal sixth on the Metropolitan premiership table with 22 wins, with Hall showing the way with 53 wins. EMPRESS STAKES IS THE TARGET FOR FAMOUS ALCHEMIST Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting talented New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist for the $50,000 Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on February 28 after she had strolled to victory in the 1730m Alan Vawser Memorial on Friday night. Famous Alchemist, favourite at 7/4 on, was never seriously challenged and she was able to stroll through the lead time in a modest 8.3sec. before simply ambling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.3sec. and 30.8sec. Rarely, in any company, is a leader able to dawdle over the first 800m of the final mile in 62.1sec. Gary Hall jun. gave Famous Alchemist a little more rein and she sped over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.2sec. She was not extended in coasting to victory by a length from 7/1 chance Sensational Gabby, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Rocky Marciano, second fancy at 5/2, trailed the pacemaker throughout and was hopelessly blocked for a run in finishing a close third. Hall did not release the ear plugs and Famous Alchemist rated 1.57.3 and could have gone considerably faster. She has led six times at her 20 starts in Western Australia and has won every time. The expected early speed battle between Famous Alchemist (barrier 1) and Sensational Gabby (three) did not eventuate and trainer Ross Olivieri appears to have cured the mare's recent habit of overracing badly in her races. This surprised Hall jun., who said: "I thought that there would have been a lot of speed off the gate and during the week everyone said to me that Famous Alchemist would have trouble in holding up. And we thought that the first half might be run quicker than the last. "But it was one of those races which did not pan out that way and she has led comfortably. Half-way through the race I felt like pulling her one off the fence and putting some pressure on myself. She is a quality mare who has had a few setbacks, and we're happy to have her racing in this sort of form." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, has had 37 starts for 12 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $236,219. LIVELONG AND PROSPER REGAINING FORM AFTER SURGERY About a year ago Livelong And Prosper was laid low by injury and his future was uncertain. He was suffering from severe stifle lock in both hind legs and veterinary surgeon Kim Rose had to cut the ligaments in both legs in an attempt to cure the problem. The operation was successful, but when Livelong And Prosper resumed work for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson the somewhat gangling and lightly-framed gelding struggled to reproduce the form he showed when he started his Western Australian career as a three-year-old early in 2012. Anderson then experimented by giving Livelong And Prosper a lighter workload on the training track and concentrated on a lot of swimming in the pool. This decision is paying dividends. The New Zealand-bred gelding has put on weight and is racing with admirable enthusiasm. In his current preparation he has won at Bunbury in November and at Gloucester Park and Harvey in December and he impressed at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he unwound a sparkling late burst to snatch victory from Im Clean Cut and Soho Jackman in the 2130m See It First on Nine Pathway Pace. Despite fast-finishing thirds at his two previous outings, Livelong And Prosper was a 25/1 chance, mainly because of his wide draw at No. 5 on the front line. Soho Jackman, undefeated at three starts since a spell, was favourite at 10/9 on and polemarker Ohoka Kentucky was a firm 6/4 second fancy. Ohoka Kentucky was first into stride, with Gary Hall jun. getting Soho Jackman away brilliantly from barrier six. Soho Jackman poured on the pressure and was held at bay by Ohoka Kentucky before Robbie Williams relinquished the lead after 450m. The early cracking pace had the rest of the field well spread out, mainly in Indian file, with Morgan Woodley able to get Livelong And Prosper across to the pegs in sixth position. Williams took Ohoka Kentucky off the pegs and into the breeze 1050m from home to put some pressure on the leader. Livelong And Prosper was sixth at the bell when Woodley was able to ease him off the pegs before switching him three wide 460m from home. Then the gelding was forced four wide at the 400m when Shannon Suvaljko started a three-wide move with Im Clean Cut. Livelong And Prosper sustained his spirited burst, out wide, to hit the front about 70m from the post and he beat Im Clean Cut (18/1) by a neck, with a neck to Soho Jackman. Ohoka Kentucky wilted to finish fifth. Livelong And Prosper was purchased as a three-year-old by Ken Casellas and Ross Waddell after his four starts had produced one third placing at Alexandra Park. He made an auspicious start in WA, winning at his first two starts, at Harvey and Narrogin in January 2012 before catching the eye with a splendid fast-finishing third to talented three-year-olds Gracias Para Nada and Western Cullen at Gloucester Park the following month. He is now starting to realise his full potential and should improve on his record of seven wins, 16 placings and $45,235 in stakes from 46 starts. By American stallion Falcon Seelster, Livelong And Prosper is the second foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Nicolosa, who had only five starts for one win (at Alexandra Park in August 2006). Nicolosa is the first foal out of Al Cioccolato, who won at her only start, as a three-year-old at Forbury in May 2001. Woodley said that he felt confident after the fast lead time and with the pressure being applied in front. "I was confident until we were pushed four wide at the 400m," he said. "However, he knuckled down well in the straight." UNWANTED ARTISTIC COPPER SHOWS HER CLASS Prominent breeder Mike Howie was disappointed when Artistic Copper failed to attract a single bid at the 2012 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. But now is quite happy that nobody was interested in the filly, who had a reserve price of $10,000. Howie decided to keep the filly and gave her to Andrew De Campo to be prepared for racing. Artistic Copper boosted her earnings to $83,125 when she gave a polished frontrunning exhibition to score a three-length victory over the fast-finishing Lipizzaner in the $21,000 Love Child On Nine WA Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artistic Copper, hot favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier two and Matt White dashed her to the front after 120m. After moderate quarters of 31.7sec. and 31.3sec., Artistic Copper sped over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.3sec. to win easily from 8/1 chance Lipizzaner, who fought on solidly from sixth and last at the bell. Shez Sensational was a half-length away in third place after racing without cover in the middle stages. This gave Artistic Copper her second success in a feature event for fillies. White drove her to victory in the group 1 $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April. She now has raced 13 times for four wins and one placing. "She is a lot stronger this time in," said White. "She has got better with every run this preparation and she has put it all together now." Artistic Copper is by American stallion Artistic Fella, who earned $2,604,855 from 26 wins, ten seconds and four thirds from 52 starts. He set a world record rate of 1.49.3 over 1700m and in seven of his wins he rated 1.48.4 or better and in another five wins he rated faster than 1.50. ROBINSON GETS VEITCHTY HOME IN A THREE-WAY PHOTO Trainer Michael Robinson made full use of a needle-eye opening in the final stages of the Fat Tony On Nine Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to send 9/1 chance Veitchy through on the inside of the pacemaker Sargent Sonny to score in a thrilling three-way photo. The camera revealed that Veitchy had scored by a nose from 9/4 favourite Sparkling Seelster, with a head to Sargent Sonny, the 3/1 second fancy. "He always finishes strongly and hits the line well," Robinson said. "He's so consistent and I love driving him. It's a pleasure to have this little horse." Robinson was happy to take the trail behind the pacemaker Sargent Sonny, with Sparkling Seelster in the breeze and 6/1 chance Soho Highroller in the one-out, one-back position. Sparkling Seelster got his nose in front 20m from the post, but just failed to hold off the fast-finishing Veitchy. Veitchy, who won at seven of his 26 starts in New Zealand, has earned $73,795 from 11 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts. He is raced by Dion Poolman, Ashlee Cortopassi, Barry Street, Christian McArthur, Kirsty Ferguson, Simon Campbell-Hardwick, Brett King, Haley Morland, Frank Ranaldi and Richard McArthur. The six-year-old by Sands A Flyin is related to several good winners, including The Cavalier, who won 15 races and $248,089. He is the second foal out of I'llmakemyname, who had only one start, for a win as a three-year-old at Bay of Plenty in October 2005. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ANSWERS A FEW QUERIES "There has probably been a little bit of a question mark over him lately, whether he is still up to his best form," Gary Hall jun. said after driving Northview Punter to a convincing victory in the first heat of the Block On Nine Lewis Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Well the New Zealand-bred four-year-old, favourite at 10/9 on, certainly showed that he is in splendid form as he surged past stablemate Real Hammer and into the lead after 450m and then relaxed with a muddling 31.5sec. quarter before he sprinted over the final three 400m sections in 29.7sec., 28.1sec. and 28sec. to score by just over two lengths from Pacific Warrior, rating 1.56.8 over the 2130m journey. Pacific Warrior, second fancy at 9/4, raced three wide early and then in the breeze and he was gallant in defeat. Mein Guy ran on from sixth at the bell to be a fair third, with Mohegan Sun finishing boldly to be an eye-catching fourth. "There were questions about his form and tonight we were definitely going to find out," Hall said. "We got away with a bit once we got to the front. Northview Punter is a class animal and when he finds the rail he's a hard horse to get over." Northview Punter, a Bettors Delight horse who is prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., has already earned $208,215 from 16 wins and 11 placings from 34 starts. BOBBY TEAL LEADS AND MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Former Victorian pacer Bobby Teal, who managed just one win from his first 25 starts in Western Australia and had a losing sequence of 20 three months ago, has struck a purple patch of form and his smart all-the-way win in the 2503m Mark Readings Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night was his sixth victory from his past nine starts and his fourth in a row. Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries has produced the Life Sign six-year-old in grand shape in the past three months and Kyle Harper has relished the opportunity to drive the standing-start specialist who has contested 44 stands in his past 45 starts. Bobby Teal, equal favourite at 7/4, was not extended in leading throughout to win by 5m from the equal fancy J Walker, who started from 20m and sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth at the bell. Lord Coburn (22/1) who raced three back on the pegs, ran on strongly to finish third. Once Bobby Teal jumped to the front Harper was able to get the gelding to relax and he was able to amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.1sec. before he lifted his rating and reeled off final quarters of 29.3sec., 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. "A lot of stands recently have been run the same way, with the leader being able to get it easy early and then run a quick time over the final 1200m," Harper said. "Most of these fields are made up of evenly-matched bunches. "There was nothing tonight to put a lot of pressure on and that makes it easy to get what you need, and if the horse is good enough he will prove hard to run down." Bobby Teal, owned by Albany businessman Harry Capararo and Queenslander Wayne Innes, has raced 72 times for 12 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $80,966. TAJIES GIRL FINISHES FAST TO CAUSE AN UPSET West Australian-bred four-year-old Tajies Girl caused an upset when she started at 31/1 and finished strongly to get up and snatch victory from 5/4 on favourite Hoylakes Firstlady in the 1730m The Voice On Nine Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win, by a head, was a triumph for young owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Butt, who had the Blissfull Hall mare poised to strike in the one-out, one-back position throughout. Hoylakes Firstlady started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten out by Am Opulent from the No. 3 barrier. However, Am Opulent was unable to cross to the pegs and was forced to race without cover all the way. Butt bided his time and waited until the home turn before switching Tajies Girl three wide. Tajies Girl sprinted strongly and burst to the front in the final 15m, with the final quarter being run in a smart 28.6sec. Am Opulent fought on gamely to be third. The winner rated 1.58.5. Tajies Girl, a sound second to Bonsu at Pinjarra last Monday, drew favourably at barrier two in Friday night's race, but Butt was left to Ponder his tactics. "When the draw came out I wasn't sure how it was going to work out," he said. "And as things turned out we got the perfect trip and she got the job done. "She has been racing well in the country, but she is a bit limited and has to be held up for one run." Tajies Girl is out of Classic Rendezvous, who produced Lord Matao, who has had 42 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $65,040. Tajies Girl now has had 27 starts for four wins, six placings and $32,003 in prizemoney. Classic rendezvous was unplaced at three starts as a two-year-old in early 2000 before being retired. SHARDONS ROCKET APPROACHES $300,000 MILESTONE Seemingly indestructible nine-year-old Shardons Rocket moved a step closer to reaching $300,000 in prizemoney when Chris Lewis drove his assertively to score a solid all-the-way victory in the 2130m A Current Affair Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Ashley and Gavin McPhail and trained at Byford by Tony Svilicich, Shardons Rocket is an iron horse who has raced 137 times for 25 wins and 47 placings for stakes of $297,102. He was favourite at 5/4 on and Lewis drove him hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Touch Me Toes and into the lead after 80m. Pride of Colorado, resuming after a spell, raced wide early before moving into the breeze and then Lewis increased the tempo, with Shardons Rocket dashing over the final three quarters in 29.3sec., 28.4sec. and 29.2sec. He had to fight grimly to hold on and beat 9/1 chance Rojen Cruz, who raced three back on the pegs before Chris Voak brought him home with a fast run, out five wide on the track. Pride of Colorado battled on gamely to be a close third, a nose ahead of Whos Mistake. On All Fours, who had won at his two previous starts and had enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, lacked sparkle and finished sixth in the field of seven. by Ken Casellas  

Former Victorian pacer Shnappy is poised to end a 21-month drought by setting the pace and winning the $50,000 Channel Nine News Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The seven-year-old Shnappy's prospects soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line of the 2130m feature event. The Binshaw Classic has been run only twice and both winners started from the No. 1 barrier and as odds-on favourites. Please Release Me, trained by David Hunter and driven by Chris Brew, led and rated 1.56.8 in defeating Grehawk and Dundee Three in 2012 and last year Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and champion reinsman Chris Lewis combined to score easily with Red Salute, who set the pace and won at a 1.57 rate from Western Cullen and Gate Bender. Olivieri and Lewis will join forces again in this year's race and Olivieri was delighted when Shnappy drew the inside barrier for his fifth appearance in Western Australia. Shnappy caught the eye in a qualifying heat of the Binshaw Classic last Friday night when he raced in fifth place, three back on the pegs, before finishing fast to be third behind Northern Assassin and Lunar Tide. "He is certainly capable of holding up and leading," Olivieri said. "He's got good gate speed and if we want to lead, he'll lead. Whether we lead or hand up the lead, he's going to get a nice run and I think that he is one of the main chances in a pretty wide-open race." Shnappy led and won at five of his ten wins in Victoria, at Cobram (twice) and at Geelong, Shepparton and Cranbourne. His latest success was when he began speedily from barrier seven on the front line and raced without cover before beating Lovable Larrikin over 2240m at Melton in May 2012. He has managed only three third placings at his subsequent 13 starts. Noted frontrunner Our Amazing Art has drawn favourably at barrier two on Friday night and Shannon Suvaljko is likely to make a bold bid to outpace Shnappy at the start and attempt an all-the-way win with the Debbie Padberg-trained six-year-old. Our Amazing Art began fast from the No. 2 barrier and was untroubled to set the pace and win a qualifying heat last week when he beat the fast-finishing Atlastalone by two lengths. Atlastalone, trained and driven by Garry Butler, is in sparkling form and cannot be underestimated, even from the No. 5 barrier. He is quite versatile and his past five starts have produced two wins and three seconds. Northern Assassin and Copagrin, stylish heat winners last week when they set the pace, will be unable to use their excellent gate speed to advantage after drawing the back line. Northern Assassin will start from No. 3 on the back line, with Copagrin on his immediate outside. Soho Redford, a fighting second to Copagrin last week when he worked hard in the breeze, will start from the inside of the back line and is worthy of consideration. DAVID HERCULES IS AIMING FOR A TILT AT INTERDOMINION GLORY Byford trainer David Thompson is setting his sights on qualifying star pacer David Hercules for the $750,000 interdominion championship final at Menangle on March 2 and the seven-year-old is spot on to win the $21,000 Nine News Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be the gelding's final appearance before contesting the $48,000 interdominion championship qualifying heat over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Saturday week. David Hercules has drawn favourably at barrier three in Friday night's seven-horse event and he should prove too good for his rivals. His reinsman Morgan Woodley and Thompson should keep their winning streak going after they had combined to win with Hugh Victor and Guilty Grin at Gloucester Park on Tuesday. Three-year-old Hugh Victor is a full-brother to David Hercules, who has raced 82 times for 27 wins, 29 placings and $767,444. "I would have rather drawn a terrible barrier in Friday's race and get a good draw in the interdominion heat," Thompson said. "We really want to go to Sydney and the barrier draw will play a big part in the interdominion heat. "I am sure David Hercules can hold his own anywhere and over any distance, provided he gets the right run. He is not far off a hundred per cent right now. After his most recent run (when a strong-finishing fourth behind Hokonui Ben in the WA Pacing Cup three Fridays ago) he has had a quiet week or ten days at his owners' place in Serpentine when they rode him in the sand and kept him around the mark. "He then ran a very pleasing trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he led and rolled around before sprinting home nicely over the final half-mile. We're fortunate enough to have such a good horse and we want to give him every chance in the big races." David Hercules should prove too speedy on Friday night for veteran pacers Mysta Magical Mach and Ima Rocket Star. Woodley, who won with Mysta Magical Mach two starts ago and was again in the sulky when the nine-year-old finished solidly to be third behind Livingontheinterest and Hokonui Ben in the Lord Mayor's Cup last Friday night, will be replaced by Chris Lewis. Lewis drove The Oyster Bar (a stablemate of Mysta Magical Mach) to an all-the-way win last Friday night to end a losing sequence of 25 and trainer Tony Svilicich has engaged Aldo Cortopassi to drive the seven-year-old from barrier two in Friday night's event. This is a massive rise in class and The Oyster Bar will be at long odds. INSIDE BARRIER POINTS TO THE FRONTRUINNING FAMOUS ALCHEMIST New Zealand-bred mare Famous Alchemist is unbeatable when she leads, according to her trainer Gary Hall sen., and when she drew the prized No. 1 barrier in the 1730m Alan Vawser Memorial Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night he declared: "She'll lead and win." Famous Alchemist will clash with promising four-year-old Rocky Marciano, who has chalked up three wins in a row in the past three weeks, and former juvenile pacing star Sensational Gabby. "Famous Alchemist is much quicker out of the gate than Sensational Gabby," Hall said. "She is in terrific form and even went well in the WA Pacing Cup. I wouldn't want her to sit on Sensational Gabby and I consider Rocky Marciano is the danger." Rocky Marciano, trained by Peter Anderson, was a Metropolitan maiden five weeks ago and has had a rapid rise to an M4 classification. He has won with great authority at each of his past three starts and was most impressive when he raced outside the pacemaker Your Good Fortune before racing away to win easily from Argent Treasure over 2536m last Friday night. He meets stiffer opposition this week, but is capable of a bold showing from the No. 2 barrier against Famous Alchemist, Sensational Gabby, last-start winner Truckers Ruffnut and Lord Lombo, who caught the eye with his fast-finishing fifth behind Livingontheinterest in the 2130m Lord Mayor's Cup last Friday night. Famous Alchemist has led at five of her 19 outings in Western Australia --- and she has won at all those five starts. The appearance of Sensational Gabby certainly adds spice to Friday night's race. The five-year-old possesses sparkling gate speed and she has set the pace and won 18 times during her 42-start career which has produced 25 wins, three placings and $469,485 in prizemoney. "I think she should lead," said trainer Ross Olivieri. And in reference to the mare's habit of pulling hard and overracing, Olivieri added: "She will be going forward; that will be Gabby's plans." HOYLAKES FIRSTLADY GETS HER CHANCE IN MARES SPRINT Smart five-year-old Hoylakes Firstlady has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier for only the fourth time in her career, boosting the confidence of trainer Greg Schofield that she will prove hard to beat in the 1730m The Voice On Nine Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And Schofield believes it is time for Hoylakes Firstlady to take full advantage of the inside barrier. She has finished second at her three starts from the No. 1 barrier --- at Narrogin in March 2012 and at Gloucester Park last September and October. She has been an honest performer for Schofield, earning $93,917 from nine wins and 19 placings from 64 starts. Schofield said that Hoylakes Firstlady (who will be handled by her regular reinsman Nathan Turvey) would attempt to lead all the way over the sprint journey. "She goes well in front and I think she will hold up from one," he said. "It would wise to overlook her seventh behind Aristocratic Glow last Friday night when she got tangled up and locked wheels with Talk About Mach in the front straight racing for the bell." Hoylakes Firtslady performed strongly the previous week when she raced three wide and then without cover before finishing fourth behind Courage On Fire. Looming as one of the main threats to Hoylakes Firstlady is the New Zealand-bred four-year-old Am Opulent, who has won eight times from 26 starts. At her third appearance after a spell, at Pinjarra last Monday week, Am Opulent surged home from the rear to finish second to Eminence Grise. "It was a really good run at Pinjarra and I expect her to be up there and in the firing line for a long way," said part-owner Greg Bond, who trains the mare in partnership with his wife Skye. "Stablemate Showstopper will start from the inside of the back line and is also capable of a strong showing." PRIDE OF COLORADO TO RESUME IN A CLAIMER Pride of Colorado struggled in Free-For-All company at the end of his most recent campaign, prompting trainer Aldo Cortopassi to start the seven-year-old in claiming company at the start of his current campaign. Pride of Colorado, an M5-class performer, will start from the outside barrier in the field of seven in the 2130m A Current Affair Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, his first appearance since early last September. "He had three months off and has had a couple of trials and went pretty well," Cortopassi said. "I sat last and just let him run home when fourth behind David Hercules at Byford on Sunday morning. He ran home well and I'm really happy with him. "He struggled against the Free-For-All horses, mainly because he lacks gate speed and is more tough than he is fast. He had a few cracks at Free-For-Alls and was found wanting. So now it's the claimers; there are no other options." Pride of Colorado won six races in 2013 and is capable of a strong first-up showing on Friday night in a race in which he will meet in-form runners On All Fours, Shardons Rocket, Rojen Cruz and Whos Mistake. 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  

Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. predicted that Im Victorious would be a star on the Australian grand circuit over the next few years after driving the brilliant five-year-old to a superb victory in the $250,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A bold move by Hall to set Im Victorious alight from the rear with a three-wide burst after 650m to race outside the pacemaker and 6/4 favourite Bettors Fire paid handsome dividends when the Michael Brennan-trained gelding surged to the front on the home turn and beat his arch rival by 2m. This gave the 31-year-old Hall his sixth victory in the Fremantle Cup to equal the record of Chris Lewis in the group 1 event which was first run in 1928. "Im Victorious is a wonderful animal and, fingers crossed, he can stay fit and healthy for the next few years because he's going to be a very good representative for WA in the major Eastern States races," Hall said. And now Brennan, who had the task of preparing Im Victorious for the Fremantle Cup less than a month after the New Zealand-bred gelding had finished fourth in the Miracle Mile at Menangle and then an unlucky last in the Victoria Cup at Melton after receiving severe interference, is setting his sights on the $400,000 Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup next Friday night. "He was a bit flat when he returned from Victoria before he enjoyed a week off relaxing in his own special paddock at Debbie Prentice's Boyanup property," Brennan said. "Debbie does a fantastic job and she treats him like one of her own. "He then came back into work and was still a little bit flat before he started picking up. His work last Saturday and again on Wednesday was first-class and I was confident of winning the Cup even though he didn't draw a good barrier." Hall jun. praised Brennan, saying: "Full credit to him; to get the horse back to his best after an Eastern States campaign is not easy. I know, through experience with Dad, how hard it can be. Hat's off to Mouse (Brennan), Lara (his wife) and the crew at Brennan Pacing. "I'm sure that everyone hoped Im Victorious could do what he did tonight, but I wasn't really sure whether he could definitely do so. I thought that it was the perfect race to attempt to do that (go forward early and into the breeze) and just see where he was in relation to the rest of them ... to see if he could make his own luck. "A lot of people think that his speed is his biggest asset, but his biggest asset is his manners and his ability to relax when you use him mid-race. He's the complete package. "I have been very lucky to have driven horses like The Falcon Strike and Im Themightyquinn. We were driving down the Freeway the other day and Dad asked me if I realised how lucky I have been in the game. And I do often sit back and think about it, but while you're still competing and coming out every week you've got to keep that behind you and keep moving forward and upwards. "I'm sure that one day when it all sinks in and when you've got time to sit back and think about it all I'll appreciate what has happened and I'll appreciate all the support I've had along the way." Im Victorious was a 5/2 second favourite from barrier four on the back line and he settled down in ninth position before Hall made his pre-emptive strike after 650m. Dasher VC, winner of the Fremantle Cup 12 months earlier, broke into a fierce gallop moments after the start, while Kyle Harper took up the running with the polemarker Bettors Fire. After first quarters of the final mile in 29.5sec. and 29sec., Harper lifted increased the tempo with a 28.2sec. section. But Bettors Fire was unable to shrug off Im Victorious, who gained the ascendancy on the home turn and covered the final 400m in 28.sec. to beat the gallant Bettors Fire at a 1.56.5 rate over the 2536m. David Hercules, fourth favourite at 11/1 from the outside of the back line, raced in tenth position before starting a three-wide run (with a trail) 1400m from home. He sustained his strong effort to finish third, a length behind Betters Fire. Hokonui Ben, who enjoyed a good suit, one-out and one-back, for much of the journey, was a sound fourth. This Time Dylan, a stablemate of Im Victorious, was ninth at the bell before finishing strongly into sixth place. Washakie, third favourite at 5/1, raced in sixth position in the one-wide line in the middle stages before John McCarthy sent him forward, three wide, with 1400m to travel. He moved to fifth at the bell before wilting to 11th. Im Victorious is still comparatively inexperienced, having raced only 31 times for 21 wins and three placings for stakes of $707,035. Hall was driving Im Victorious on Friday night for the first time for 22 months. He drove him three times for his first three wins in February and March 2012 and he boasts a 100 per cent record with the son of Washington VC, who has sired the winner of the past five Fremantle Cups (Im Themightyquinn three times and Dasher VC in 2013 before Im Victorious continued the streak on Friday night). Hall has won the Fremantle Cup six times (twice with The Falcon Strike, three times with Im Themightyquinn and once with Im Victorious). Lewis has won the Fremantle Cup with Black Irish, Village Kid (twice), John Albert, Sandy Bay and Dasher VC. HEZ THE BART MAN COMPLETES A TREBLE FOR CORTOPASSI Darling Downs horseman Aldo Cortopassi struck a purple patch at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he landed a treble in the space of 85 minutes. The 37-year-old Cortopassi completed the treble when he brought veteran pacer Hez The Bart Man home with a spirited burst to score an easy victory in the $25,000 Yes Loans Fremantle Cup Consolation over 2536m. This followed wins with Topnotch Dan and Pure Empathy. Hez The Bart Man, a New Zealand-bred eight-year-old trained at Oakford by Ross Olivieri, was a 9/1 chance from barrier two on the back line in a race in which the polemarker Sneakyn Down Under was a solidly-supported 9/4 favourite, with Pacific Warrior the second fancy at 4/1. Sneakyn Down Under set a brisk pace and Cortopassi had Hez The Bart Man poised to strike in sixth position in the one-wide line. Cortopassi started a three-wide move approaching the bell and the gelding got to the front 250m from home before drawing away to win by two lengths from 9/1 chance Danieljohn, who finished boldly from seventh at the bell. Famous Alchemist (16/1) raced three back on the pegs and did not get clear until very late, when she flashed home to be third, just ahead of outsider Cyclone Mitch, who rattled home from tenth with a lap to travel. "Hez The Bart Man was going to run second at his previous start (when fourth behind Toretto) before making a mistake with 100m to travel," Cortopassi said. "And I was very happy when I got the call to drive him again tonight. He loves to roll into the race and with a nice even tempo he just keeps going at the one speed." Sneakyn Down Under faded to finish tenth, while Pacific Warrior raced at the rear and was twice inconvenienced in the final circuit before finishing a creditable sixth. Hez The Bart Man, owned by David and Carolyn Ward, won once from two starts in New Zealand and seven times in Victoria before arriving in WA where his 24 starts have produced four wins and 12 placings. His career record stands at 59 starts for 12 wins, 22 placings and stakes of $146,203. LORD LEXUS MAKES A GOOD IMPRESSION Five-year-old New South Wales-bred Lord Lexus showed that he has the ability to maintain a successful family tradition when he scored an impressive victory at his second appearance in Western Australia. He overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line and he was last in the first lap before finishing powerfully, three and four wide, from eighth at the bell to romp home an easy two-length winner over In The Perfect Storm in the 2130m Yes Loans Pathway Pace. Trained at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and driven confidently by Shannon Suvaljko, Lord Lexus was a 15/2 chance in a race in which polemarker Shnappy (7/4) and Ben Cartwright (5/2 from barrier two) dominated betting. The victory gave Reed a most satisfying birthday present after turning 59 four days earlier. Ben Cartwright was smartest into stride and challenged Shnappy hard, but unsuccessfully, for the lead over the first 350m. This resulted in a particularly fast lead time of 35.5sec. and left Shnappy and Ben Cartwright susceptible to horses who had comfortable passages at the rear. Gary Hall jun. finally got Ben Cartwright to the front 250m from the post, but the four-year-old was a sitting shot. Suvaljko drove Lord Lexus to the front with 100m to travel and the gelding scored by two lengths from 9/2 chance In The Perfect Storm, who started a three-wide burst from the rear approaching the bell and was tracked by the winner, who rated 1.57.7. Ben Cartwright held on to finish third and will pay to follow. Shnappy wilted to finish fifth. Lord Lexus, by Bettors Delight and out of Panoramic Lady, has raced only 17 times for four wins, nine placings and $25,063 in prizemoney. Panoramic Lady had 50 starts for ten wins, ten placings and $29,594. Lord Lexus is a half-brother to outstanding performers Make Me Smile (678 starts for 34 wins, 14 placings and $517,518), Cant Bluff (60 starts for 21 wins, 21 placings and $281,348) and Lady Lexus (54 starts for 25 wins, 17 placings and $316,518). Make Me Smile won the New South wales Derby at Harold Park in April 2005 before finishing third behind Innocent Eyes in the Chariots Of Fire the following January. MACHTU STAKES HIS CLAIM AS A WA DERBY PROSPECT Lightly-raced gelding Machtu is the latest in an ever-increasing army of talented three-year-olds trained in Serpentine by Gary Hall sen. to emerge as a strong prospect for the rich WA Derby in April. Machtu, a winner at three of his five starts in New Zealand, made a stylish Australian debut at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he was favourite at 3/1 on and worked hard without cover before winning the 2130m Yes Loans Three-Year-Old Pace by three lengths from fast-finishing stablemate Eyre Crusher (22/1), with two lengths to the pacemaker Hugh Victor (6/1) in third place. Morgan Woodley jumped polemarker Hugh Victor straight to the front before being tackled hard for the lead by 84/1 outsider Crimson Floyd. The lead time was a fast 35.8sec. and after 500m Matt White gave up his quest for the lead and slotted Crimson Floyd to the pegs to follow Hugh Victor. This left Machtu in the breeze and Woodley gave Hugh Victor a much-needed breather with a 32.8sec. first quarter of the final mile, followed by a 30.9sec. quarter. Hugh Victor then sped over the third 400m section in 28.1sec. and the final quarter went by in 28.8sec. Machtu got on terms with Hugh Victor 550m from home before gaining a narrow ascendancy on the home turn. Eyre Crusher rattled home from last at the bell to deprive Hugh Victor of second placing. The winner rated 1.58.2 over the 2130m to take his record to six starts for four wins and $23,518 in prizemoney. His dam Letatalk (by Holmes Hanover) managed just one win, one placings and $3938 in stakes from 20 starts. "He was purchased for 'a bit of money' and with that sort of record in New Zealand you would expect him to come here and show something," said reinsman Gary Hall jun. "He's worked up very nicely at home and is a really nice horse to drive. He does everything you want him to do and is very versatile. "So that's why we chucked him in at the deep end straight away and he's come up with the goods. I thought that we were in a little bit of trouble early. I don't think he's got a hell of a lot of gate speed, and there was plenty there from a few unexpected ones. "I think that Hugh Victor would have been pretty hard to beat (had it not been for the spirited early challenge). We planned to sit outside of him, quietly, until the 900m and then apply a bit of pressure. But we might have struggled to get over him, based on his run, after what he had to do early." OUR AMAZING ART'S WIN REVIVES HIS FORM AS A TWO-YEAR-OLD As a two-year-old Our Amazing Art won at Addington from The Gold Ace and then finished a head second to Our Major Mark in a group 1 $80,000 feature event. The Gold Ace has now amassed $1,028,621 from his 19 wins and 12 placings from 52 starts and Our Major Mark has earned $645,935 from 22 wins and 20 placings from 70 starts. Our Amazing Art, now a six-year-old, went into the M0-class 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line and at the gift price of 11/2. Punters who took into account his form as a juvenile in New Zealand and his splendid record as a pacemaker were on good terms with themselves when Shannon Suvaljko got Our Amazing Art past the polemarker and 9/4 favourite Justlikelindt and into the lead 50m after the start. Suvaljko then rated Our Amazing Art expertly in front and the Artsplace gelding strolled to victory by 4m over Justlikelindt, rating 1.57.4 to boost his record to 59 starts for 11 wins, 12 placings and stakes of $108,907. This ended a losing sequence of 12, stretching back to last May when he was successful at Penrith. Our Amazing Art, prepared at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, had put the writing on the wall the previous Friday night when he sat behind the pacemaker Rocky Marciano and finished second to that pacer over 2536m. "Last week he raced over 2536m and he's a bit suspect over that distance," Suvaljko said. "He can't get hoppled during the week and I'd like to thank Isaac Edwards, who does all the work with this horse."" Last-start winner Tuxedo raced three wide for the first lap before getting to the breeze before he faded to finish ninth. Justlikelindt was blocked for a clear passage in the final lap. "Tuxedo was coming around them, so I had to make him do some work, and down the back I've made them run (with a third quarter in 28.6sec.) and I had them all off the bit," Suvaljko said. "We had Justlikelindt on our back and so I had to hold him back in a pocket for as long as possible." TOPNOTCH DAN GETS HOME AT 67/1 Aldo Cortopassi made the most of the opportunity to drive veteran pacer Topnotch Dan for the first time when trainer Ross Olivieri's No. 1 driver Chris Lewis opted to handle stablemate Lord Coburn in the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Topnotch Dan, a Tasmanian-bred nine-year-old and rank outsider at 67/1, caused a major upset when he finished solidly from sixth at the bell to win narrowly from fast-finishing pair Menelaus of Sparta (46/1) and Lisharry (17/1). Most punters pinned their faith in noted frontrunner Real Hammer, who was resuming after a spell and looked a certainty from the prized No. 1 barrier, particularly after a dashing Byford trial win the previous Sunday. Real Hammer set the pace and after the first two quarters of the final mile in moderate 29.6sec. and 29.5sec. he looked set for an easy victory. The third section whizzed by in 28.9sec., but Real Hammer then began to show signs of wilting. Topnotch Dan, who had enjoyed an ideal sit in the one-out, two-back position (behind Lord Coburn in the one-out, one-back position), started a three-wide burst after the bell. He went four wide at the 400m and hit the front 50m from the post. Lisharry, who started a three-wide run at the 900m, was forced five wide passing the 400m and he finished determinedly. Menelaus of Sparta impressed in charging home from eighth at the bell to snatch second place. Topnotch Dan, owned by Lloyd and Judith Whish-Wilson of Launceston, had been unplaced at each of his seven starts in his current campaign and had a losing sequence of 13. After extending his losing sequence to ten late in November, Topnotch Dan's classification went from M2 to M1 under the drop-down regulation. He now moves to an M2 mark again. He won 13 races in Tasmania and one in Victoria before arriving in WA where he has raced 41 times for four wins. He won a group 3 $30,000 classic for two-year-olds in Hobart in July 2007 and is one of seven winners out of the unraced Torado Hanover mare Shansue Mod. Topnotch Dan now has earned $182,921 from 18 wins and 32 placings from 105 starts. GDAY MATE'S WIN SURPRISES HIS TRAINER-DRIVER New Zealand-bred five-year-old Gday Mate, whose previous five wins had been in stands, caused an upset in the 2536m mobile Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he stormed home from the rear to snatch victory at 20/1. It was a win which surprised the gelding's trainer-driver Justin Prentice, who gave him little chance against several smart rivals, including J Walker (7/2), Hokuri Handrail (5/4) and Franco Renegade (7/1). Hokuri Handrail (Gary Hall jun.) was kept under pressure in front, with Franco Renegade pulling hard in the breeze and having his head in front for much of the way. Gday Mate raced in ninth position before sustaining a spirited finishing burst to get to the front in the final 30m to beat J Walker by a metre, with Hokuri Handrail a metre away in third place. Franco Renegade wilted to finish seventh. "I didn't think Gday Mate was going to get over J Walker," the 25-year-old Prentice said. "J walker has been flying and was in the one-out, two-back position, leaving us with a lot of ground to make up. At the 400m Gday Mate was making up a lot of ground and I thought we were a chance turning for home. But half-way down the straight I didn't think I was going to catch J Walker. So he's done a massive job to fight out the finish and put his head in front." Gday Mate, owned by Shannon Prentice, Mark Conlan, Clive Berryman, Peter Kennedy and Ross North, has done all his racing in WA where he has had 71 starts for 20 wins, 34 placings and $239,550. BRONZE SEEKER BREAKS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 16 A switch from mobile racing to a stand did the trick for New Zealand-bred five-year-old Bronze Seeker, who recovered from a tardy start to record a smart victory in the 2503m Yes Loans Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win ended a frustrating run of outs and a losing sequence of 16, stretching back to his narrow win over Red Salute in the Manea Classic at Bunbury last March. Bronze Seeker, whose previous nine starts had been in mobiles, galloped out for a few strides from the inside barrier on the front line and settled down racing without cover five lengths behind the early leader Balleybofey. Bronze Seeker then was able to gain the one-out, one-back trail 600m after the start when Shannon Suvaljko sent Adda Paternal Suit forward and into the breeze. Bronze Seeker, favourite at 2/1, gave a fine example of his sit-sprint ability. After a 28.3sec. third quarter of the final mile, Bronze Seeker sprinted over the final 400m in 27.9sec. and got to the front in the final couple of strides to beat Balleybofey by a head, with two lengths to Adda Paternal Suit in third place. After winning 11 times from 26 starts in New Zealand, Bronze Seeker, a son of Mach Three, was purchased by Ian Sermon, Lee Bunney, Ross Waddell, Ken Casellas and Tracey Sermon and now the gelding has had 34 starts in WA for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson for four wins and eight placings. "Credit is due to Peter," said reinsman Morgan Woodley. "He's had Bronze Seeker spot on for a long time, but the horse hasn't had any luck and this had all of us pulling our hair out. Bronze Seeker found the line strongly tonight and should win a couple more." PURE EMPATHY Smart New Zealand-bred mare Pure Empathy made the most of the coveted No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Aldo Cortopassi drove her to an effortless all-the-way victory in the first heat of the 2130m Yes Loans Im Themightyquinn Mares Pace on Friday night. "She's been going great this whole campaign," said Cortopassi. "All she needed was a good draw. She won pretty easily and went to the line with the plugs in. I never really asked her for an effort." Pure Empathy, trained at Pinjarra by Brad Groves, was favourite at 9/4 and she was able to amble through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.7sec. and 31sec. before sprinting over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec.Millies Girl (25/1) trailed the leader all the way and finished just more than a length behind the winner in second place. Corza Commotion (18/1) raced three back on the pegs and got clear in the late stages to flash home into third place. Pure Empathy, owned by Brad and Kelly Groves, Laurie and Valerie Groves and Kalina Brew, has had 56 starts for ten wins, 18 placings and $76,230. MAGGIES MYSTERY PROVES TOO GOOD FOR HER MALE RIVALS West Australian-bred five-year-old Maggies Mystery, the only mare in the 1730m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, proved too speedy for her ten gelding rivals when Kim Prentice drove her to an all-the-way victory. Favourite at 5/4 on, Maggies Mystery, trained at Burekup by Colin Reeves, made full use of the prized No. 1 barrier and was able to withstand constant pressure applied by Cool Johnny and go on and win by a nose from 13/1 chance Rocky Marciano, with 2m back to 6/1 chance Heez Orl Black in third place. Maggies Mystery sprinted over the final 400m in 28.3sec. and rated 1.56 in taking her record to breeder-owner Kim Marsh to 59 starts for 12 wins, 16 placings and $133,155. "I didn't really have any concerns mid-race when Cool Johnny was applying pressure in the breeze," Prentice said. "She was always under control. Down the back they were coming four and five wide and she took a little bit to get going. But when I pulled the deafeners she knuckled down and did the job. "Morgan (Woodley) had me 20m out when Rocky Marciano was definitely in front. But to Maggies Mystery's credit she kicked to regain the lead. Maggies Mystery is a beautiful horse to drive and she will keep earning." by Ken Casellas  

INSIDE BARRIER GIVES SILENT PROWL A CHANCE TO MAKE AMENDS Lightly-raced six-year-old Silent Prowl is a noted frontrunner and his prospects of winning The West Australian $50,000 Nights of Thunder at Gloucester Park on Friday night soared when he drew the coveted No. 1 barrier in the 1730m sprint. He also started from the inside barrier when he was surprisingly beaten out by the flying Polak in a qualifying heat last Friday night when Polak set a fast pace and won by just over a length from Silent Prowl, who got into the clear in the home straight and finished strongly. Waroona trainer-reinsman Bob Mellsop will be determined to retain the lead this week, with Polak faring badly in the random draw. Polak will start from the outside in the field of nine and it is difficult to imagine Shannon Suvaljko getting the horse to muster sufficient speed to get to an early lead. Six nights before his surprise defeat as a 2/1 on favourite last Friday night, Silent Prowl relished his frontrunning role when he won by two lengths from Lisharry over 1730m at Gloucester Park. At his previous outing, Silent Prowl led and was easily beaten into second place by Lunar Tide, who rated 1.53.9 over 1684m at Pinjarra. Those three runs by Silent Prowl were at his first three starts in Western Australia --- and his first after an absence of 12 months --- and he should now be close to his peak. Silent Prowl, by Art Major and bred in New Zealand, has done all his racing in Australia. Before arriving in WA he won seven times from 16 starts in Victoria --- twice when leading, three times after racing without cover and twice when he sustained a strong finishing burst. To set the pace and win Silent Prowl will have to buck the trend in the first seven runnings of the Nights of Thunder when only two pacemakers were successful --- Quick Drawn McCaw in 2008 and Lombo Navigator in 2011. Lombo Navigator is the only winner of the race to have started from the No. 1 barrier. Smart four-year-old Smokey The Bandit will have many admirers after drawing favourably at barrier two. A winner at nine of his 39 starts, Smokey The Bandit has impressed with excellent seconds at his past two outings. He sat behind the pacemaker Nowitzki when second to that pacer in the $175,000 Golden Nugget Championship on December 6. He also trailed the leader (Courage Tells) when a half-head second to that pacer in a Nights of Thunder heat last Friday night. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has high hopes of winning the Nights of Thunder for the third time after his son Gary drove Tealsby Karita to victory in the inaugural running of the event in 2007 and Hokonui Ben to a three-length victory over Heisbackinblack after facing the breeze a year ago. Hall will be represented by talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Hard Copy, who has had 34 starts for ten wins and 12 placings. Shane Butcher will again drive the gelding who led from the No. 1 barrier and won a heat in easy fashion from The Feather Foot and Glenferrie Hood last Friday night. My Hard Copy dashed over the final 800m in 56.8sec. and rated 1.54.6, the fastest of the three heat winners. The prospects of the other heat winners, Courage Tells and Polak, slumped when they drew out wide at barriers eight and nine, respectively. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and champion reinsman Chris Lewis will be attempting to win the feature sprint for the second time when eight-year-old Bet Your Life starts from barrier three. Bet Your Life, an all-the-way winner over 2130m five starts ago, started from barrier seven and did well to fight on from eighth on the pegs at the bell to finish fifth behind My Hard Copy last Friday night. Olivieri and Lewis combined to win the Nights of Thunder in 2009 when 9/1 chance Davisons Destiny flew home, out very wide, from seventh at the bell to snatch victory from the pacemaker and 7/4 favourite Indian Giver. SKALECKI HAS BRIGHT PROSPECTS WITH HOT HOLIDAY Seven years ago Aaron Skalecki brought 14/1 chance Risk And Reward home with a powerful burst to snatch victory from the pacemaker Truscott Storm in the second running of the group 3 West Australian Trotters Cup and now he has high hopes of becoming the first reinsman to drive two winners of the $30,000 feature event. He will handle the in-form New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Hot Holiday, who has the strength and will-to-win to overcome the 30m handicap mark. Hot Holiday is prepared by Skalecki's partner Natalie Duffy, whose mother Laurel Schofield trained Risk And Reward. Duffy trained and drove 5/4 on favourite Makarewa Don when he won the 2012 Trotters Cup by just under six lengths from stablemate and 33/1 chance Idle Maple, driven by Skalecki. Hot Holiday warmed up for Friday night's Cup with a splendid effort in a 2503m trot at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he started from 30m and Skalecki dashed him forward, three wide, in the first circuit to work hard outside the pacemaker The Beau Brummell. Hot Holiday fought on tenaciously and got his nose in front in the final stages before Prince Eddie flashed home to get up and defeat him by a neck. Hot Holiday also had a tough run in the breeze before scoring by three lengths from Backas Cobber in a 2130m mobile two starts before that. He has had 61 starts for 15 wins and 16 placings and has never raced better. Prince Eddie, who will start from 10m, is the likely favourite after his stylish performance last week when he trailed the pacemaker The Beau Brummell and was fourth 60m from the post before unleashing a devastating late burst to get up and beat Hot Holiday. Prince Eddie is trained by Gary Hall sen., who was successful in last year's Trotters Cup with Makati Maximus, who defeated Xenon and the other Hall runner Tuhimata Glass, driven by Gary Hall jun. Prince Eddie, a lightly-raced New Zealand-bred six-year-old with six wins from 20 starts, will again be handled by Hall jun. Waroona trainer-reinsman Bob Mellsop is hoping for a change of fortune for polemarker The Beau Brummell, who has finished second and third, respectively, behind Prince Eddie at his past two starts. Mellsop has not enjoyed much luck in the first eight Trotters Cups. He finished second with Dash Of Light (behind Macladdie) in the inaugural running of the event in 2006. He finished fourth with 10/9 on favourite Dave Star in 2007; he was unplaced with two runners, Drop Of Gin (6/4 favourite) and Dave Star (9/4) in 2008; was unplaced with Baby jack and Drop Of Gin in 2009; he was fourth with 5/4 favourite Gee Invasion in 2010; was ninth with 5/2 chance Our Shoe In in 2011 and finished 11th with 20/1 chance Don Guerrero 12 months ago. Waroona trainer Nigel Johns and star reinsman Morgan Woodley are hoping for a strong performance from veteran mare Xenon, a narrow winner at Pinjarra two starts ago. They combined to win the 2009 Cup with Compressor. Johns will drive Xenon's stablemate Earl Harbour, a stylish winner over Keepyaguardup and Prince Eddie at Gloucester Park four starts ago. Kim Young, who trained and drove Macladdie for his success in 2006, has sound prospects with frontmarker Heez Speedy Gonzalez, who led and won by six lengths from Diamond Geezer over 1684m at Pinjarra at his most recent outing. Wundowie trainer Bruce Stanley, who won the Cup in 2008 with 20/1 chance Dance To Victory, has three runners, Backas Cobber, Ushaka Bromac and Enjoy A Malabu. DASHER VC GETS HIS CHANCE TO END A LOSING STREAK Quality pacer Dasher VC, a leading candidate for the Yes Loans Fremantle Cup and the Nepean Conveyors WA Pacing Cup this month, is poised to return to the winning list and end a losing sequence of nine by proving too good for his eight rivals in the $21,000The Form Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is unfavourably drawn on the outside of the front line in the 2536m event, but his class should carry him to victory over Ima Rocket star and Leda McNally. Dasher VC wrecked his chances in the Village Kid Sprint at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he started from barrier six and broke into a bad gallop just after the start. He then trailed his rivals and was retired from the event in the final circuit. He impressed the previous week when he started from the back line, raced three wide early and then without cover before fighting on to finish third behind Livingontheinterest and Hokonui Ben over 1730m. Capel trainer Andrew De Campo took Dasher VC to the trials at Bunbury's Donaldson Park on Monday when the seven-year-old gave a sparkling display to set the pace and win the 2100m trial by five lengths from Truckers Ruffnut. The gelding sprinted over the final two 400m sections of the final mile in 27.6sec. and 28.3sec. and rated 1.57. De Campo drove Dasher VC in the trial, but Chris Lewis will again be in the sulky on Friday night. Ima Rocket Star, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, looms as Dasher VC's chief rival. Ima Rocket Star, a strong stayer, is favourably drawn on the inside of the back line. Since winning the 2503m Navy Cup in mid-September Ima Rocket Star has been placed behind Im Victorious, Bettors Fire and Hokonui Ben. Leda McNally, the only mare in the race, has won at 17 of her past 30 starts and can never be underestimated. She is fast and versatile and Chris Voak should have her in a commanding position from the No. 4 barrier. TURVEY LANDS FOUR WINNERS AND A TRIFECTA IN ALBANY Baldivis horseman Nathan Turvey ended 2013 with a flourish when he trained and drove four winners on the eight-event program in Albany on Tuesday night. He was successful with Our Copper Art, Comeuppance, Flyalong Falcon and My Bachelors Delight. And to put icing on the cake he trained the first three placegetters in the $9000 New Year's Eve Cup in which Flyalong Falcon beat Motoringwiththebest (Tim Stone) and Sonic Classic (Trent Wheeler). Flyalong Falcon, the 5/2 on favourite, raced three wide for the first 650m and then in the one-out, one-back position before he burst to the front rounding the home turn. He score easily from Motoringwiththebest, who fought on doggedly after working hard in the breeze, and Sonic Classic, who ran home solidly from sixth on the pegs at the bell. by Ken Casellas  

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

Toretto's effortless victory in the $35,000 Kennards Hire Christmas Gift final at Gloucester Park on Friday night was the highlight on a memorable evening for champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and star reinsman Kim Prentice. Hall and Prentice combined to win five of the ten events on the program, with Hall extending his lead on the Metropolitan trainers' premiership table. He shows the way with 51 winners and 71 placegetters from 240 starters and leads from Greg and Skye Bond (26 winners from 143 starters) and Ross Olivieri (19 winners from 152 starters). The quintet enabled Prentice to move into fourth place on the city drivers' premiership table. He has driven 19 winners from 93 drives and is behind Gary Hall jun. and Colin Brown (30 winners each) and Chris Lewis (20). Toretto is, at last, repaying Hall sen. for his great patience with the New Zealand-bred five-year-old who has been plagued by injury and on Friday night was having only his 14th start after spending much of the past couple of years recuperating from bowing a tendon twice on the same leg. Hall has trained a quintet of winners several times, but this was only the second time that Prentice has landed five winners on a program. Hall also trained six winners (all driven by his son Gary) at Gloucester Park two months ago. Prentice has been driving most of the Hall runners in recent weeks while champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. and his elder brother Clint have been on the sidelines, serving terms of suspension. Hall jun. was also suspended when Prentice previously drove five winners --- at Gloucester Park on October 8, 2011. Three of them, Im Tim Kelly, Lukcon Lad and Albert Jaccka, were trained by Hall sen. and he trained the other two, My Sound of Thunder and Sea Gale. Toretto, who has won nine times from his 14 starts (all in WA) for earnings of $83,730, arrived from New Zealand in Perth in November 2011 and won at two of his first three starts in the State between June and November 2012. He then bowed a tendon and was out of action for 11 months. Toretto, perfectly drawn at the No. 1 barrier, was a warm 6/4 on favourite and he gave his supporters little cause for concern as he jumped straight to the front and dictated the terms of the race and won by 5m from 28/1 chance Our Major Mark, who started at three-wide move with 1250m to travel. Red Salute (5/1) trailed the leader throughout and finished third, a head in front of 10/1 chance Hez The Bart Man, who sustained a strong burst from the rear to move into second place in the closing stages before breaking into a gallop in the final couple of strides. The winner rated a moderate 2.0.1 over the 2`30m. Toretto is by Julius Caesar and is the seventh and last foal out the unraced Soky's Atom mare Scottish Seal and he looks destined for bigger and better things. "He surprised me last week with the ease of his win in the heat and when he drew the No. 1 marble I was very excited to keep the drive," Prentice said. "Gary has been saying for a long time that Toretto has got a huge amount of ability and tonight he has won in second gear. "He was absolutely just jogging. Gary said that the previous time he had led he was off the bit and Junior (Hall jun.) had to drive him the whole way. But he was hard on the bit tonight and was never ever going to lose. He'll go all the way; he's definitely fast-class material. " Toretto's win gave Hall sen. a record fifth success in the Christmas Gift after wins with Nixons Creed (1993), Allioop (2004), McRaes Mate (2007) and Livingontheinterest (2012). It was the second win for Prentice, who drove McRaes Mate to victory over Cosmic Legacy. J WALKER STORMS HOME FOR THE IN-FORM WILLIAMS Young Henley Brook trainer Robbie Williams continued his recent run of successes when he produced a near-perfect patient drive to land 11/4 favourite J Walker a thrilling last-stride winner over the pacemaker Salliwood in the $20,500 Kennards Hire Mount Eden-No Dill Christmas Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred J Walker, a seven-year-old son of Christian Cullen, started from 20m and the 25-year-old Williams was quite content to allow the gelding to relax at the rear in the field of 12, while frontmarker and 8/1 chance Salliwood set the pace J Walker was tenth after a lap and ninth at the bell before he unwound a spirited burst to charge home and snatch victory from the ten-year-old Salliwood, who had won the Christmas Handicap 12 months earlier. The half-head defeat also foiled reinsman Shannon Suvaljko's bid to win the event three years in a row. Before Salliwood's 2012 win, Suvaljko had driven Rocket Reign to victory in 2011. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice prepared the third and fourth placegetters. He brought Braemoor (13/2) home with a powerful burst from the rear at the 1250m mark to be third, with Kaiden Hayter finishing fourth with Gday Mate (7/1). Gate Bender, a brilliant first-up winner in weaker company a week earlier, was second favourite at 15/4 off the 20m mark. He dashed forward in the first circuit to move into the breeze before gaining a good sit, one-out and one-back. But he had no luck in the last lap and finished tenth. J Walker, owned by former New Zealand trainer-reinsman Graham Bond and Stephen Schmedje, of Esperance, won eight times from 50 starts in New Zealand before arriving in WA in August 2012. Friday night's win boosted his record to 81 starts for 17 wins and 18 placings for stakes of $163,456. J Walker is named after John Walker, one of New Zealand's greatest athletes, winner of the 1500m at the Olympic Games in Montreal in 1976. He broke Tanzanian Filbert Bayi's world record for a mile with a time of 3min. 49.4sec. at Gothenborg in Sweden in August 1975 and he ended his career with the remarkable record of 135 sub-4min. miles. J Walker is the sixth foal out of Tareena Jay (21 starts for five wins, four placings and $41,606) and he is a half-brother to Presidential Ball gelding Jays Debut, who amassed $239,455 from six wins and five placings from 22 starts, including wins in the $100,000 group 1 New Zealand Two-Year-Old Championship at Alexandra Park in June 2005 and a $97,500 listed classic at Franklin the following month. J Walker is also closely related to Lordship pacer Reba Lord, who earned $384,880 from 17 wins and 16 placings from 69 starts in New Zealand, Australia and America. "We have had a few problems with his soundness," Williams said. "But at the moment he's pretty good and, fingers crossed, he can keep fit and go through the grades. I think he has a bright future. He's a beautiful little horse and is no trouble. He's easy to train and is lovely to drive." LIVINGONTHEINTEREST, NOT AT HIS BEST, IS STILL TOO FAST FOR HIS RIVALS Speedster Livingontheinterest warmed up for the $60,000 Village Kid Sprint next Friday night with a smart all-the-way victory in the $21,000 Medic One Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But the New Zealand-bred six-year-old did not impress reinsman Kim Prentice, who said that the gelding did not travel with his usual zest. "He's gone really good, time-wise. Normally he travels really, really strongly, but to me he didn't feel the same as he normally does. But he has won the race and that's what counts. I'm just glad to get that out of the way. "He had me worried the whole way because he normally travels really, really strongly, and tonight he didn't travel well at all. However, he responded when challenged in the closing stages and Senior said that the horse's last 50m was what pleased him." Livingontheinterest, favourite at 3/1 on, began fast from the No. 1 barrier, but had to be driven hard to resist an early challenge from 110/1 outsider Ohoka Dallas from barrier three and he sped over the first 400m of the final mile in 28.5sec. Dasher VC, third favourite at 11/1, dashed forward in the first lap to move into the breeze and put pressure on the leader, and after a second quarter in 29.5sec. the third section whizzed by in 28.4sec. Hokonui Ben, the 4/1 second fancy and stablemate of the pacemaker, enjoyed the trail behind the leader before finishing determinedly in the home straight. Livingontheinterest held Hokonui Ben at bay and beat him by a half-length, rating 1.54.9 after a final quarter in 28.9sec. Dasher VC held on to be 11m farther back in third place. Livingontheinterest, who is related to prolific winners Party Party, Another Party and Champagne Party, won at seven of his 15 starts in New Zealand and now has a fine record of 37 starts for 19 wins, seven placings and $212,325 in prizemoney. MAJORLY FOXY STYX EMERGES AS A BRIGHT PROSPECT FOR THE WA OAKS New Zealand-bred filly Majorly Foxy Styx has resumed after a spell in superb condition and owner Rob Watson and trainer Gary Hall sen. are looking forward with confidence to the rich WA Oaks next year after her runaway victory in the Kennards Hire Pump and Power Three-Year-Old Fillies Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Her win by five lengths from Generally Outspoken at a 1.58.7 rate over 2130m followed her outstanding first-up performance to win the previous Saturday night when she raced three wide all the way and won convincingly from The Parade. Generally Outspoken, owned by Watson and Grace Inwood and trained at Northam by Glenn Elliott, should also develop into a leading Oaks candidate. Second fancy at 7/2, Generally Outspoken (Chris Voak) raced without cover for most of the way and battled on gamely before breaking into a gallop in the final couple of strides. Majorly Foxy Styx, favourite at 5/4, began speedily from barrier five and Kim Prentice sent her past polemarker Flicka Whitby and into the lead after 500m. Prentice then was able to get the three-year-old to relax and travel through the first two quarters of the final mile in 31.4sec. and 30.4sec. before she sprinted over the final quarters in 29.3sec. and 28.8sec. Majorly Foxy Styx did not race in New Zealand and she raced seven times in Victoria as a two-year-old for three seconds (at Kilmore, Ararat and Bathurst) before coming to Western Australia. She now has earned $30,865 from three wins and three placings from 11 starts. She is the second foal out of unraced Christian Cullen mare Foxy Styx, whose dam Prim And Proper (by Soky's Atom) had seven starts for one win, by a half-head in a minor race over 2200m at Greymouth. NORTHVIEW PUNTER WINS "WITH A LEG IN THE AIR" Four-year-old Northview Punter gave further proof that he is on the road to developing into a top-flight open-class performer when he outclassed his older rivals in the 2536m Kennards Hire Pump and Power Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A strongly-supported second favourite at 5/2, Northview Punter made light of starting from the outside of the back line and the ease of his victory delighted trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Kim Prentice. "He's gone super," said Prentice, substituting in the sulky for the suspended Gary Hall jun. "Junior said that he likes to chase, and down the back the final time I couldn't hold him slow enough to them, waiting for something to come to keep him concentrating. He was travelling that well that I just had to cut him (loose) and he's won with a leg in the air. I just wish it was that easy all the time." Asian Courage, favourite at 9/4, jumped straight to the lead from the No. 2 barrier while Northview Punter settled down in tenth position. Prentice quickly seized the initiative and he sent Northview Punter forward with a fast three-wide burst after 550m. Northview Punter then sat on the outside of Asian Courage before bursting to the front 350m from home and winning by two and a half lengths from 10/1 chance Bronze Seeker, who was tenth at the bell before unwinding a sparkling sprint. The final 400m was covered in 28.4sec. and the winner rated 1.58.4. The Feather Foot (85/1) impressed in coming from last at the bell to finish third and veteran Rojen Cruz (14/1) also caught the eye by finishing powerfully from the rear to be fourth. Asian Courage faded badly to finish last. Northview Punter, a winner of one race from two starts in New Zealand as a two-year-old, ended a losing sequence of six and improved his record to 30 starts for 15 wins and ten placings for earnings of $192,825. He is the ninth foal out of American-bred mare Watch Your Step and is a half-brother to smart New Zealand and American winners Stopwatch and Announcement. FLYALONG FALCON CONTINUES ON HIS MERRY WINNING WAYS Promising New Zealand-bred six-year-old Flyalong Falcon maintained his outstanding form and upset strong betting moves for Vapour and Shnappy when he finished full of running to win the 2536m Make Your Job Easy Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Flyalong Falcon, part-owned, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, was sent out at the handsome odds of 11/2, with Vapour (11/8) and Shnappy (2/1) both heavily supported. Polemaker Grand Cru (5/1) set the pace, with Shnappy (making his WA debut after winning ten times in Victoria) in the breeze and Vapour (unbeaten at his first two WA starts after three wins in New Zealand) racing in seventh position in the small field of eight. Flyalong Falcon, the solitary runner on the back line, enjoyed a perfect run behind the pacemaker before Turvey eased him off the pegs and into the clear 350m from home. Flyalong Falcon surged to the front 60m from the post to beat Vapour (who had started a three-wide move with 950m to travel) by a half-length, with Grand Cru finishing third and Shnappy wilting to fifth. The final 800m was covered in a brisk 56.9sec. and Flyalong Falcon rated 2.0.2 and took his record in WA to five wins and a second from six starts after having 29 starts in New Zealand for three wins and nine placings. He has earned $46,216. He is the only foal out of unraced Christian Cullen mare Skip Along. "He got the right run, which obviously helps," said Turvey. "He also got out at the right time and that went a long way towards his win. His best attribute is his standing-start manners and he's a pretty adaptable and laid-back character. I'd like to think he will win one or two more in the city." IM TERRIFIC DAWDLES EARLY BEFORE SPRINTING AWAY FOM HIS RIVALS New Zealand-bred five-year-old Im Terrific took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park when Colin Brown drove him to an easy all-the-way victory in the 2130m second heat of the Kennards Hire Lift And Shift The Coulson Pace on Friday night. Starting favourite at 5/4, Im Terrific took a stranglehold on the race when he dawdled through the lead time in 38.8sec. and ambled through the first 400m section of the final mile in a slow 31.9sec. After a second quarter in 30.2sec. Im Terrific dashed over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 28.2sec. to win by just under a length from 11/1 chance Rocky Marciano, who enjoyed the perfect trail, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly. Heez On Fire (2/1) was an excellent third, just a head behind Rocky Marciano. Heez On Fire was trapped four wide early before Chris Lewis restrained him to the rear and then set him alight, three wide, from tenth at the bell. "I don't think that we necessarily had to get it as easy as that early," said Brown. "But once we did, it was all over. Since they put the go-straights on him he has improved no end. He used to get on a knee a little bit, particularly at Gloucester Park. Now he's a different horse and has got a lot more confidence." Im Terrific, who is trained by Greg and Skye Bond, had eight starts in New Zealand for one win (over 2000m at Otago as a three-year-old in January 2012) and his 223 starts in WA have produced nine wins and six placings. MOONLIGHT ROCKHOLE ENDS A LOSING SEQUENCE OF 19 Veteran performer Moonlight Rockhole ended a losing sequence of 19 when he unwound a stirring finishing burst to get up in the final couple of strides to snatch victory from the pacemaker and 4/1 favourite Miss Rivertin in the 1730m Kennards.com.au Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Moonlight Rockhole started at 17/2 and his young trainer-driver Dylan Egerton-Green was content to sit back in the field before asking him for a strong effort in the closing stages. Moonlight Rockhole was eighth in the one-wide line at the bell where Miss Rivertin was being put under pressure by nine-year-old Whitbys Beach, who was making his first appearance for 23 months. A hectic opening quarter of the final mile in 28.6sec. set the scene for a swooper and the final quarters were run in only 29.5sec. and 29.9sec., with the winner rating 1.58.2. Kristen Louise (9/2) ran on solidly from seventh at the bell to be third.' "He has been a grand old horse for us and the Robbie Tomlinson syndicate," said Egerton-Green, who explained the seven-year-old's disappointing sixth behind Soho Monza in a field of seven at his previous outing a fortnight earlier by saying that the gelding was a bit flat when having his second run in the space of five days. Moonlight Rockhole, who is still eligible to contest a Metropolitan-class maiden event, has amassed $98,683 from 15 wins and 31 placings from 127 starts. By Northern Luck, he is out of Windshield Wiper mare Gold Duchess, who had 27 starts for eight wins, six placings and $116,920. Moonlight Rockhole is a half-brother to six winners, including Manu Magic (152 starts for 13 wins, 30 placings and $89,986) and Goldanover (135 starts for 11 wins, 30 placings and $75,220). BEAUTIFUL NIGHT SETS THE PACE AND FIGHTS ON GAMELY Six-year-old Beautiful Night, who is in foal, broke a losing sequence of 11 when she set the pace from the coveted No. 1 barrier and fought on grimly to win the 2130m Kennards Hire Merry Christmas Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 2/1, Beautiful Night was rated well by Shannon Suvaljko and she had just enough in reserve to defeat the strong-finishing 12/1 chance Hoylakes First Lady by 1m, with Arch On Fire (25/1) coming from fifth at the bell to be third. The winner, trained by Peter Tilbrook, rated 1.58.2. Beautiful Night, bred and owned by Neven Botica, has been a handy performer and she now has earned $70,369 from nine wins and 16 placings from 51 starts. By American stallion Western Terror, Beautiful Night is out of the New Zealand-bred P JS Dream, who won five times from 25 starts in New Zealand before having two unplaced runs in WA (at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra) in November-December 2006 and then being retired to the breeding barn. "The barrier certainly helped," said Suvaljko. "She has led from an inside barrier before and I was confident of leading again tonight. She received a good bit of pressure early and did a good job to hold on and win." THIS TIME DYLAN TURNS THE TABLES ON MAROONED Rejuvenated pacer This Time Dylan notched his sixth win from his past 11 starts when he came from last in the middle stages to score a runaway victory in the 2130m Kennards Hire Concretecare Claiming pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His five-length win over Marooned made amends for his second at odds-on to Marooned in a claimer the previous Friday night. This Time Dylan, favourite at 6/4 from the outside of the front line, was restrained to the rear by Kim Prentice while 40/1 outsider Heavens Delight set the pace from Davy Maguire (in the breeze), Artorius (behind the leader) and Tee pee Village in the one-out, one-back position. The pace was fast and furious throughout, with a sizzling lead time of 36sec. Prentice started a three-wide move (following Marooned) approaching the bell. Marooned got to the front 380m from home before This Time Dylan swept past him 130m later and raced away to win very easily at a 1.56.3 rate. "They went hard early and we just had to go back, and it all just fell into place" Prentice said. "The only decision I had to make was when to come off the back of Marooned. I knew that this guy would sustain a real strong sprint. If I had left it to the top of the straight I probably still would have beaten Marooned. But I just wanted to make sure of it." by Ken Casellas  

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

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

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

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