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Western Australia’s leading harness racing driver this season Shannon Suvaljko is on the cusp of a milestone after a winning double yesterday at Pinjarra lifted his career wins tally to 1497. This season Suvaljko has driven 84 winners and leads Chris Lewis by eight with a further five winners to Chris Voak in third place. Shannon Suvaljko is in seventh place on the all-time list of the State’s leading drivers which is headed by Chris Lewis with 5223 wins. Shannon and his brother Callan (1183 wins) are the only siblings to have each driven in excess of 1000 winners in Western Australia. Shannon Suvaljko can add to his tally with six drives at this afternoon’s Gloucester Park meeting. Alan Parker

Start and finish the nine-event harness racing program at Gloucester Park on Friday night by backing Shannon Suvaljko to win the opening and final events. That’s the advice from Suvaljko, who is setting a hot pace in the Statewide drivers’ premiership table. He leads with 76 winners from Chris Lewis (69), Chris Voak (68) and Gary Hall jun. and Ryan Warwick (55). Suvaljko has eight drives on Friday night and said: “My best drives will be in the first and last races --- with Bechers Brook and Brookies Jet. My best drive is Brookies Jet in the last.” Brookies Jet, trained at Serpentine by Matt Scott, will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the final event, the 1730m Worldwide Bentley Pace and Suvaljko gives the New Zealand-bred six-year-old a strong winning chance. “He gets his chance from this barrier over the sprint trip, particularly if he can find the front,” Suvaljko said. “It’s an even field in which Tactile Sensation is a pretty good horse.” Brookies Jet warmed up for Friday night’s assignment with a solid performance at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. He was beaten for early speed from barrier three and settled in sixth position. He was tenth (and last) with 400m to travel and about 180m later was inconvenienced and forced out very wide. However, he recovered and finished with a determined burst to be fifth behind The Spinster. Brookies Jet showed his liking for pacemaking five starts five starts earlier when he set the pace and won from Attack On Command and Backpage Screamer over 2100m at Bunbury in mid-December. Suvaljko has had 11 drives behind Brookies Jet for one win and three third placings. The win came when Brookies Jet started from the No. 1 barrier and set the pace over 2130m at Kellerberrin early last October. Four-year-old Tactile Sensation, trained and driven by Peter Tilbrook, is racing with admirable enthusiasm and will have many admirers, despite the stallion’s awkward draw at barrier eight. Tactile Sensation, a winner at Gloucester Park and Northam in December, worked hard in the breeze and finished an extremely close fourth behind Nothingbutadream at Bunbury on Sunday. Whitbys Gamble, the only other four-year-old in Friday night’s race, is racing with plenty of spirit for trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi. The mare will start out wide at barrier seven and Cortopassi predicted that a win was not far away for the mare. Whitbys Gamble gave an encouraging performance as a $126.90 outsider at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when she was last in a field of ten with 450m to travel and was four wide on the home turn before finishing strongly from seventh at the 100m mark to be fourth behind Lord Willoughby. Suvaljko spoke in glowing terms of Bechers Brook, a talented colt who has raced only six times for four wins, a second and a fifth. Bechers Brook, trained by Mike Reed, will start from barrier five in the field of nine in the opening event, the Worldwide Osborne Park Pace for three-year-olds. Bechers Brook was untroubled to set the pace from barrier one and win easily at a 1.58.2 rate from Captured Delight and Murphys Bettor over 2130m last Friday week. “He is a really nice horse and whatever he does this week he will continue to improve,” Suvaljko said. “He doesn’t have to lead; he’s got good versatility and can sit up and come home. He’s definitely a WA Derby prospect.” Bechers Brook’s clash with several talented three-year-olds, including stablemates Speed Man and One Off Delight (trained by Gary Hall sen.), should prove to be one of the highlights of the program. Speed Man shows excellent promise and his first five starts have produced three wins and two seconds. Gary Hall jun. will drive him from the No. 4 barrier. “Speed Man is still pretty inexperienced, but he’s a strong stayer who gave a good performance at his latest start when he raced in the breeze outside Mistahmistah and finished a close second to that horse,” said Hall sen. One Off Delight, to be driven by Stuart McDonald from the coveted No. 1 barrier, has resumed after a spell in fine style and impressed at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he led and held on to win from Carrera Mach and Play The Boys. Adding interest to the race will be the first appearance in Western Australia of Victorian filly Amelias Courage, a seasoned performer who has raced 25 times for eight wins, ten seconds and two thirds. She will be driven by her new trainer Colin Brown and faces a stern test from the outside barrier in the field of nine. Amelias Courage has finished second at each of her past four starts, the latest being over 2240m at Melton three Fridays ago. The other fillies in the race, Infinite Symbol and Lady De La Renta, are in good form, but have drawn out wide at barriers seven and eight, respectively. Ken Casellas

Harness racing driver Shannon Suvaljko, leading the West Australian drivers’ premiership table, has labelled Maczaffair as the best of his seven drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He firmly believes that the New Zealand-bred four-year-old has the class to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the Retravision Your Air Conditioning Specialist Pace, a 2536m event for mares. Maczaffair, trained by Mike Reed and the winner at 15 of her 33 starts, has had the luxury of leading from favourable barriers (two and three) and winning comfortably over 2130m at her past two starts. “You would think that Friday night’s race is a drop in grade compared to the Fremantle Cup, a race she was aiming at,” Suvaljko said. “The 2536m is her cup of tea and she will run a great race. The distance won’t worry her. She has won over 2536 in the WA Oaks last May and finished a half-head second to Mitch Maguire in the 2536m Western Gateway two months before that and last month she finished second to Ultimate Machete in the 2536m Golden Nugget. “On Friday night she can either go forward or go back at the start. I’ll listen to Mike and see what he wants me to do. Last Friday night she did it easily and went to the line powerfully.” Maczaffair should be able to prove too good for Nathan Turvey’s smart mare Bettor Boa, Sarah Suvaljko’s evergreen eight-year-old Auctioneers Elsu and Clint Hall’s promising Ladys Are Ideal. Bettor Boa led when a wilting third to Glow Bright and Handsandwheels over 2130m last Friday night and she may be better suited when held up for a late burst. Auctioneers Elsu, a veteran of 190 starts, trailed the pacemaking Maczaffair and fought on gamely when second to that mare over 2130m last Friday week. Ladys Are Ideal should be handy throughout after starting from the inside of the back line. She covered a good deal of extra ground and showed a good turn of foot in the last lap when an easy winner over Four Legged Frenzy at Albany last Saturday night. Shannon Suvaljko is also enthusiastic about the prospects of the Matt Scott-trained nine-year-old Another Arjay in the Retravision Joondalup Superstore Handicap, a stand over 2503m. Another Arjay, an all-the-way winner in a stand over 2030m at Busselton two starts ago, will start from the inside barrier on the front line and Suvajko plans to set the pace. “He’ll lead and will be hard to beat,” Suvaljko said. “He’s had four country runs after a resuming from a spell and is ready to win in town. “He would have won easily at Busselton last week, but I couldn’t get out. He won well at his previous start. “Always Arjay is a really fast beginner and Idealindiamonds probably will have to sit outside of him. Idealindiamonds sat outside of Assassinator and couldn’t get over him, and I think that Always Arjay is as good as Assassinator. Idealindiamonds is racing keenly for leading trainer Skye Bond and looks set to fight out the finish. The six-year-old who has won at five of his seven starts this season will begin from the 10m mark and Ryan Warwick will be anxious to keep him in front of Assassinator, who also will begin off 10m. Chris Voak gave punters a good lead by opting to drive the Ross Olivieri-trained Assassinator in preference to talented four-year-old Im Rockaria. Im Rockaria will be handled by Michael Grantham at his first appearance in a stand and trainer Michael Brennan is confident the gelding will prove hard to beat. “He performed well when he qualified at trials to run in a stand,” Brennan said. “Nothing seems to bother him and I expect him to run a very good race.” Brennan also has high hopes for Sangrial in the Retravision Pace for three-year-old fillies. She is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. Grantham returns after serving a suspension and Grantham advised punters to give the filly another chance after she had disappointed as favourite at her past two starts. Little went right when Miss Sangrial finished third behind Cott Beach and sixth behind Marquisard. “Last week she didn’t get out of the gate all that good and subsequently probably choked down a little bit,” Brennan said. “I trialled her again on Sunday and she felt absolutely amazing when she crossed from seven in a stride. I think from No. 2 she can cross Cimorene but it’s not the end of the world if she doesn’t find the front she’s got a wonderful sit and sprint capacity.” Brennan said that Grantham had a special affinity with Miss Sangrial. He has driven the filly ten times for all her six wins in Western Australia, as well as finishing seconds in the Group 2 Champagne Classic and Group 1 Diamond Classic. Ken Casellas

Harness racing metropolitan reinsman Shannon Suvaljko has produced a sensational performance on New Year’s Eve, driving five winners at Harold Reid Paceway to continue his red-hot form in the sulky. At the traditional Albany Harness Racing Club’s December 31 meeting, Suvaljko teamed with Albany-based trainer Peter Fairless to dominate the early part of the nine-race card as the pair won the first three races. Suvaljko then scored on raging favourite Back To The Beach and the well-supported Imali in the next two races, as he amazingly won the first five races on the card. It was very nearly six on the trot after Lord Willoughby ran second in race 6 and the talented driver recorded another second placing later on to cap off his brilliant night. The five victories are part of a purple patch for the top reinsman, who has driven 11 winners in eight days after a treble in Busselton on December 26 to go with wins at Gloucester Park (December 29), Northam (December 30) and Busselton (January 2). “I’ve driven five once or twice before,” Suvaljko said. “But to drive the first five, that was pretty good. Once you get in the zone and you get a bit of luck, things pan out the way you want and that’s what happened. “To drive the first three for Peter Fairless was a big thrill — he’s a hard worker and a bit of a battler so to see the joy on his face was great.” Ohoka Chief ($4.50) proved too strong from the front line in the WA Koffee Boost Stakes Pace (2258m) to win by 4.3m before Fairless and Suvaljko saluted with Ariki ($10.40) in the Peter Watson Stakes Pace (2258m). The third leg of the combinations treble came at big odds when $30 chance Art Of Illusion stormed home to get over the top of Soho Jett by 1.4m in race 3. Suvaljko now leads the AHRC drivers’ premiership with 24 points over Colin Brown (16 points), and said he was committed to returning on Saturday and Sunday meetings for the rest of the season. Mighty Flying Deal ($3.10) won the $8500 Amity Tavern New Years Cup Stakes (2258m) for trainer Wayne Justins and reinsman Jack Justins, while trainer Ross Olivieri and driver Corey Peterson also finished with doubles at the meeting. Cameron Newbold Reprinted with permission of The West Australian  

Shannon Suvaljko, fresh from landing the first five winners on the program at Albany on Sunday night, has given harness racing punters a significant lead by opting to drive Highview Sadler in preference to Burning Shadows, Our Jaccka Mara and Three Kings in the $20,000 Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Suvaljko chose Highview Sadler despite the six-year-old boasting a losing sequence of 18 and having notched only one win from his past 45 starts. He was influenced by the gelding drawing the prized No. 1 barrier and by his encouraging performance at Bunbury on Sunday night when he raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly along the sprint lane to be a close second to the pacemaker Wesley.  Highview Sadler, trained at Byford by Peter Anderson, has a winning record of only seven per cent (five wins from 69 starts). However, he is a handy frontrunner who set the pace and won from Cyclonedomic at Gloucester Park in mid-September. Highview Sadler is the lowest assessed pacer in the field of 12 with a C1 classification and his chief rival looms as James Galleon, a C8/M1-class performer who will be driven by Stuart McDonald from out wide at barrier seven on the front line. James Galleon, trained by Gary Hall Snr, has been unplaced at his past seven outings, but he has the ability to bounce back to form at his third appearance after an absence of six months. He has won at nine of his 29 starts. Suvaljko also has high hopes of taking full advantage of the No. 1 barrier by leading all the way with the Debbie Padberg-trained Bad Round in the Garrards Horse And Hound Pace over 2130m. Bad Round showed a welcome sign of better things to come when he raced in the one-out and one-back position before finishing gamely to be third behind Carter Micheal over 2190m at Northam last Saturday night. One of Bad Round’s main rivals appears to be the Anderson-trained Bronze Seeker, who is handily drawn on the inside of the back line. The previous time that Bad Round and Bronze Seeker clashed was over 2130m at Gloucester Park on December, Bad Round started from the No. 1 barrier and set the pace before fading to finish ninth behind Bronze Seeker, who started out wide at barrier eight and sprinted home fast from the rear to win from Abraxas Blues, rating 1.56.4. Suvaljko is driving in peak form and has raced away to be the State’s leading driver after four months of the 2017-18 season, with 63 wins. He leads from Chris Voak (56 wins), Chris Lewis (55), Gary Hall Jnr (52) and Ryan Warwick (48). Suvaljko’s best prospect on Friday night is outstanding four-year-old mare Maczaffair in the first qualifying heat of the Im Themightyquinn Pace. Maczaffair notched her 14th win from 32 starts when she led and beat Auctioneers Elsu by three lengths last Friday night. Another victory this week would come as an excellent present to trainer Mike Reed, who will celebrate his 63rd birthday on Saturday. Ken Casellas

Speedy mare The Spinster has led at eight of her nine wins in a burgeoning 25-start career and Millendon harness racing trainer Sonia Zucchiatti is confident that the five-year-old will set the pace and win the $25,000 The Preux Chevalier Final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Reinsman Shannon Suvaljko is hopeful that he will celebrate his first drive behind The Spinster with a victory. Zucchiatti engaged Suvaljko because the mare’s usual driver Dean Miller will be in the eastern states on an end-of-season football trip. The Spinster has drawn favourably at barrier three on the front line and Suvaljko (who has taken an early lead on the drivers’ premiership table for the 2017-18 season) will be anxious to use the mare’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to burst to an early lead. The Spinster revealed dazzling early speed from barrier five when she charged to the front after 100m and relished the frontrunning role to win by almost two lengths from She Could Be Good, rating 1.55.5 over 1730m last Friday week. A week earlier, she finished strongly from fifth, three back on the pegs, at the bell to be second to She Could Be Good over 2130m. “It is a very good draw for her,” Zucchiatti said. “And with her speed, she should cross to the front. Her form has turned around. She had a few little issues, but we’ve sorted them out and she’s back to her best. “I have a friend in New Zealand and a mate of his goes around to the trials to look at the youngsters. I got a phone call and a recommendation to buy an unraced three-year-old filly who had just won a trial. We looked her up and liked what we saw, so we bought her for $30,000.” Zucchiatti races The Spinster in partnership with Steve Schmedje, Peter Yewers, Darren Wright and Riwai Williams. The American Ideal mare who is closely related to Bellas Boy, winner of the Group 1 Victoria Derby in 2003, is proving a sound investment, with her 25 starts producing nine wins and seven placings for earnings of $69,831. “When she arrived here she certainly looked the part,” Zuchiatti said. “We went to the races, first-up, at Pinjarra (in October 2015) and she did a few things wrong at the start, galloped and lost 150 metres. She caught the field and pulled out and ran third. We thought ‘gee, we’ve got something here.’ And she has done a great job. “The way she’s going and if she keeps improving I’ll definitely look at running her in the feature events for mares later this year.” Zucchiatti, who has a team of 11 in work, is delighted at the successful comeback to racing by seven-year-old Major Donegal, who returned to racing after an absence of three years when he won at 15/2 in a 2100m stand at Kellerberrin on Sunday. Major Donegal was driven by Zucciatti’s 22-year-old daughter Deni Roberts, who maintained her splendid form in the sulky with wins behind Glowing Report at Pinjarra on Monday and Torrevean Mio at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. Sarah Goody and Bettor Boa appear to be among the main dangers to The Spinster in an even field. Sarah Goody will be the only runner on the back line and Bettor Boa is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven. Chris Lewis said he was expecting the Kevin Keys-trained Sarah Goody to improve on her shock first-up defeat when favourite at 5/1 on last Friday night when she dashed to the front from barrier two, shied at marks on the track after 300m, but still set the pace before being passed by Bettor Boa with 350m to travel. Bettor Boa, a 33/1 chance driven by Gary Hall Jnr, was tenth at the bell before she unwound a brilliant burst of speed at the 600m mark to race past Sarah Goody, who then fought back gamely to finish just over a length behind Bettor Boa. Sarah Goody led when an easy trial winner at Byford on Sunday morning. “She’s drawn in behind on Friday night and, hopefully, she’ll run a bit better,” Lewis said. “Last time in, she was a bit the same. In front she tended to go away with the fairies a little bit, early in the piece and then by the end of her prep she was able to run in front and sprint home. “Last Friday night she should’ve been able to hold up in the back straight. But she wasn’t able to do so. However, she got going again and finished on okay. So, I would think she will definitely go well from behind. She has always gone well from behind. In her following races I wouldn’t be overly concerned if she led. I think she will switch on again. She just needs to click in on her brain what she has to do.” Bettor Boa, trained by Nathan Turvey, will again be driven by Hall on Friday night. She will start out wide at barrier seven and if she reproduces the brilliance she revealed last Friday night she will be hard to beat. Tajie Baby, trained at Byford by Harry Ashby, has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier and should be prominent. She trailed the pacemaker Bebrave and did not get a clear run until late when a sound second to Extreme Prince last Friday night. “She’s a good place chance this week,” declared reinsman Chris Voak. Ken Casellas

In-form reinsman Shannon Suvaljko will be busy at Gloucester Park on Friday night with drives in eight of the ten events. He declares Foxy Dame the best of his drives and astute harness racing punters are sure to share his enthusiasm. Foxy Dame, trained at Henley Brook by Mike Reed, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m TABtouch Inter Dominion Grand Final December 8 Pace and Suvaljko is aiming for an all-the-way victory. “I think she is a really good chance,” he declared. “She’s a good horse in front or sitting. Her latest run was full of merit; she hit the line charging. From the draw on Friday night I think we will definitely hold up and control the race in which a few of her main rivals haven’t drawn particularly well. She’s the one to beat. “At her latest start (last Friday night) she was in a good field and I sat four back on the rails and she got out only late. The final quarter was run in 27.7sec. and I got out only half-way down the straight and she really charged the line and finished fifth, just over a length from the winner Abraxas Blues. Foxy Dame ended a losing sequence of 18 two starts before that when she raced wide early and then without cover for a while before obtaining the one-out, one-back trail and then finishing strongly to win from Sea Me Smile and Donegal Rundlescreek. Mighty Major, trained at Jandabup by Ryan Cummins, has place prospects from the No. 2 barrier, despite being unplaced at his past 14 starts and boasting a losing sequence of 18. “His numerical form does not indicate the way he is going,” said reinsman Michael Grantham. “He’s going well and, hopefully, I can save him up for that last little bit.” Another with each-way prospects is Shes Artful, who will start from barrier three. Wundowie trainer Bruce Stanley has engaged Chris Voak to handle the five-year-old mare who has an all-the-way winner over 2130m three starts ago. Ken Casellas

Serpentine harness racing trainer Matt Scott made a wise decision to lease New South Wales-bred pacer Always Arjay two years ago and he is delighted at the excellent form shown by the six-year-old since recovering from a tendon injury which kept him out of action for 14 months. Always Arjay damaged his nearside tendon in April 2016 and since he resumed racing in June this year he has had ten starts for five wins. He will start from barrier three on the front line in a 2503m stand, the $18,000 Win Boost Now On TABtouch Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and should take a power of beating. “Always Arjay’s work last Saturday was first-class and I expect him to go well on Friday,” Scott said. “His last-start fourth (behind stablemate Bartowski) was very good. He came off 30 metres and made his run down the back straight when he was pushed four and five wide around the final two bends. He had won at five of his previous six starts.” Always Arjay (Always A Virgin) will again be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, who said: “If he finds the front, he’ll be hard to beat.” Looming as the major danger to Always Arjay is the Skye Bond trained Bettor Not Bitter, whose past six starts have produced four wins and two seconds. Bettor Not Bitter was an odds-on fancy when he worked hard in the breeze all the way when a fighting second to the pacemaker Arising Easton in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. He won in good style at Gloucester Park and Pinjarra at his two previous outings. Bettor Not Bitter will start from the inside barrier on the front line with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. If he leads he will prove very hard to beat. Scott said that he was hopeful that Bartowski, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr from barrier four on the front line, would reveal his normal brilliance from a stand and burst past Bettor Not Bitter and into the lead.  “I expect Bartowski to cross to the early lead and then take a sit on Always Arjay,” Scott said. “Bartowski led early and then took the sit in a race last week --- and he ran home strongly to win.” Scott races Always Arjay on lease from John Gullace and Cathy Cousins and the gelding’s 24 starts for him have produced eight wins and seven placings. “When I leased Brookies Jet from John and Cathy a couple of years ago they told me that they had a few horses in Melbourne with Andy Gath, including Always Arjay, who was being set for the Victoria Derby, but got sick. “So I leased Always Arjay along with Qtown Rip Roaring and C C Chevron.” Qtown Rip Roaring has had 62 starts for Scott for seven wins and 11 placings and C C Chevron’s 67 starts for Scott have produced six wins and 18 placings. Co-backmarkers off 20m are Billies A Star and Ohoka Kentucky and they appear the chief rivals for Always Arjay and Bettor Not Bitter. Ken Casellas

Up and coming five-year-old Shandale is unbeaten at his two outings over 1730m and harness racing reinsman Shannon Suvaljko is confident the New Zealand-bred gelding can maintain his grand form in sprints by winning the $22,000 Book Your Harness Racing Travel World Interdominion Package Now Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Shandale, trained at Henley Brook by Mike Reed, chalked up his 12th win from 39 starts when he worked hard, three wide early and then in the breeze, before beating the pacemaker Mach Time over 2130m last Friday night. He steps up in class when he begins from barrier four on the front line on Friday night, but Suvaljko declared that the Art Major gelding, who is being set for the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series in November and December, will maintain a steady rate of improvement. “He’ll be hard and fit for 1730m; he’s a gross horse and he will continue to improve,” he said. “He’s on the way up and is definitely an Inters contender. “At his first-up run two starts ago, he drew wide in a good field over 2536m. So, we drove him back (in the field) and nothing hit the line better than him (in coming from 12th at the bell and finishing seventh behind Jambiani). “Then, last week, in an easier field, we put him in the race and he showed his class (racing three wide early and then without cover) before winning from Mach Time. I think he’s definitely the one to beat this week. “Before he went out for a spell early in May he rated 1.53.8 when he raced in the breeze and won from Eyre Crusher over 1730m. I reckon he wasn’t going as good then as he is now. On Friday night, I’ll be happy to sit outside Ideal Tyson if he holds the lead from the inside barrier. We won’t be handing up to anything. “I’m not sure whether Ideal Tyson will be able to hold the lead. I think that Courage Tells (barrier two) or Dredlock Rockstar (No. 3) are capable of crossing to the front.” Aiden De Campo will again drive Ideal Tyson for trainer Gary Elson and he said that he would be keen to win the start and then set the pace with the powerful five-year-old. “The barrier certainly helps him in this class and, hopefully, he’s got enough speed to hold up,” De Campo said. “And if he leads, he’ll give a good show. His latest run, when three back on the fence before running on to be third to Shandale last week, was probably his best run in this prep. “Ideal Tyson is a big, tough rolling horse and nothing will out-tough him if he’s in front. I consider that the only way he can be beaten is if something crosses him early.” Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has a strong hand in Friday night’s race in which he will be represented by American Boy, Norvic Nightowl and Ideal Alice. Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr will drive Ideal Alice from the outside barrier (No. 9), Lauren Jones will handle American Boy and Stuart McDonald will drive Norvic Nightowl. Hall Snr is keen on the prospects of Ideal Alice, the only mare in the race, and declares her an good each-way prospect. American Boy and Norvic Nightowl are each resuming after a spell, but are capable of a bold first-up showing. “American Boy is going well and will be a chance,” said Hall Snr. “Norvic Nightowl has not raced for 15 months. He has recovered from a bowed tendon and probably will need the run.” Ideal Alice certainly looms as a major player. Her recent form is outstanding. She ran on strongly from last at the bell in a field of six to finish an excellent third behind Run Oneover and Our Jimmy Johnstone over 2130m last Friday night. That followed a win and two placings from her three previous outings. Ken Casellas

High-priced New Zealand harness racing import Shandale should make amends for his defeat as a 6/4 on favourite last Friday night by winning the Retravision 1800 Too Hot Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He started from the outside barrier (No. 9) last week and raced at the rear before moving to eighth at the bell, out three wide, and finishing with plenty of determination to be a one-length second to another talented four-year-old in Overboard Again. The final quarters of the race were covered in 27.1sec. and 28.2sec. --- times which made Shandale’s task of winning almost impossible. This week Shandale will certainly appreciate a far better barrier at No. 2 on the front line and he should carry too many guns for his 11 rivals. Shandale, who has had 35 starts for nine wins and ten placings, is trained at Henley Brook by Mike Reed and will again be driven by Shannon Suvaljko. This combination also has excellent prospects in the Retravision 60 Price Promise Pace with smart New Zealand-bred mare Foxy Dame. Foxy Dame put the writing on the wall for another success with an impressive performance last Friday night when she started out wide at barrier seven and was in eighth place, four back on the pegs at the bell, before finishing powerfully from fifth on the home turn to be a close third to Superimposed and Lord Lombo. That was her fourth placing from her past five starts and she has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the back line. She is at her best when held up for a late charge. Two of Foxy Dame’s chief rivals, Sheer Rocknroll (No. 9) and Hidden Bad (No. 8) have drawn wide barriers, but are capable of overcoming those draws. Four-year-old Sheer Rocknroll, trained by Ross Olivieri, has been a revelation, with 19 wins, ten placings and stakes of $211,402 from 46 starts, while the Nathan Turvey-trained Hidden Bad is capable of a bold effort at her first appearance for almost five months. Ken Casellas

Kiwi Legend, described by his trainer Mike Reed as a very good horse who is on target for the Interdominion Championship series and the WA Pacing Cup next summer, looks a star bet in the opening event, the 2536m Retravision Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old will start out wide at barrier seven in the field of eight, but that should prove no obstacle as he attempts to notch his twelfth win from 30 starts. He will be handled by Shannon Suvaljko, who returned to action in dashing style at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening after serving a term of suspension when he landed a double with 2/1 favourite and pacemaker Artistic Lilly and 10/1 chance Plati, who charged home with a brilliant burst of speed. Kiwi Legend bounced back to top form last Friday night when he began speedily from barrier seven and got a half-length in front of 5/2 on favourite Bungalow Bill in the early stages. But Colin Brown then was content to rate Kiwi legend in the breeze and the gelding surged to the front 110m from home and won easily from Bungalow Bill at a 1.56.4 rate over 2130m, with final sectionals of 28.6sec. and 27.8sec. “He won very well and Colin said he was bolting and could’ve gone to the front leaving the back straight in the last lap,” Reed said. And Brown said: “He won with the ear plugs in and with a leg in the air.” Reed said that Kiwi Legend (who has earned $166,685 from 11 wins, eight seconds and three thirds from just 29 starts) would contest the $35,000 Alltools Four and Five-Year-Old Championship on Friday week before being sent for a spell. Reed has good prospects of a quinella result in Friday night’s race, with Foxy Dame, to be driven by Brown, favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier. Foxy Dame started from the back line and impressed when she finished powerfully from sixth at the bell to win narrowly from Bad Round and Questionable Gesture at a 1.57.4 rate over 2130m last Friday night. Mexicano (barrier one) and the promising, lightly-raced Talktomeurmattjesty have place prospects. Talktomeurmattjesty, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Busselton owner-trainer Barry Howlett, has raced only 13 times for seven wins and five placings. He is awkwardly drawn at barrier six. Ken Casellas

Shannon Suvaljko has high hopes of continuing his remarkable run of successes with star harness racing mare Libertybelle Midfrew when he drives the New Zealand-bred six-year-old in the Westral Rhadsody Venetians Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 47-year-old Suvaljko is riding on the crest of a wave and he boasts an outstanding record behind the Mike Reed-trained Libertybelle Midfrew, having driven her nine times for eight wins and a third placing. He drove the Christian Cullen mare at her first five starts in Western Australia in April-May 2014 for five wins, including the group 1 $150,000 WA Oaks when she beat The Parade by seven lengths. He recently resumed as her driver and has handled her at her past four starts for a third behind Bettors Fire and then to all-the-way victories from the prized No. 1 barrier at her next three outings. Libertybelle Midfrew fared well in the random draw for this week’s 2130m event and will start from barrier three on the front line with Change Stride and Mynameskenny on her inside. Change Stride and Mynameskenny each possesses excellent gate speed, but there is a strong chance that Suvaljko will be able to get Libertybelle Midfrew to the front soon after the start. Change Stride began speedily from barrier five in a 2130m event last Friday night and took the lead after 150m before Ryan Warwick opted to take the sit behind Tricky Styx 300m later. Mynameskenny, a winner at 20 of his 36 starts for Byford trainer John Oldroyd, steps up in class after his last-start victory over Three Blind Mice at Bunbury when he worked hard in the breeze before asserting his authority in the final stages. Reed has timed Libertybelle Midfrew’s preparation for the TABtouch interdominion championship series to perfection and Suvaljko was full of praise for the mare after her most recent win, when she led and fought on with fierce determination to defeat Run Oneover over 2130m in the group 3 Mount Eden Pace last Friday week. “They gave it to her a long way out … and there were some good horses behind us,” he said. “On the line she was strong and going away from them. She’s a great horse, running 28.2sec. coming into the bell and 27.1sec. down the back before coming home in 28.7sec. Not many horses do that.” Run Oneover, trained by Gary Hall sen., again looms large as a serious rival to Libertybelle Midfrew. To be handled by Clint Hall, Run Oneover will start from barrier five. He also started from the No. 5 barrier in the Mount Eden Pace in which he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before running home powerfully to fail narrowly. The Hall stable will also be represented in this week’s event by the consistent Cyamach and Waylade, who showed a return to his best form last Friday night when he raced in seventh position, four back on the pegs, before finishing strongly to be an eye-catching third behind Tricky Styx and Beaudiene Boaz. Cyamach, who has amassed $355,396 in prizemoney from 18 wins and 33 placings from 77 starts, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six, but Waylade has a handy draw at No. 2 on the back line. Heez On Fire, prepared by octogenarian Bill Horn, will again have the services of Chris Lewis and is sure to have many admirers after excellent performances at his first three runs after a seven-month absence. Heez On Fire trailed the pacemaker Libertybelle Midfrew in the Mount Eden Pace and was hampered for room in the home straight before finishing fast along the inside to be a close-up third. Two starts before that he flew home from last at the 250m mark to be second, a half-length behind the winner Libertybelle Midfrew. Suvaljko said he expected Libertybelle Midfrew to perform even better than she did when winning last Friday week when the mare was slightly underdone after not having been given a hoppled run in the week leading up to the race. “Actually, barrier three is not a bad draw,” he said. “Change Stride handed up last week, but they might want to lead this week. And Mynameskenny gets out okay, but he’s more a sit and kick horse in this grade. “The main ones to beat are drawn outside of Libertybelle Midfrew, so the chief aim will be to keep in front of Heez On Fire and Run Oneover. We will come out hard with the aim of leading. But if we can’t, I’ll be happy in the breeze --- and she will run home strongly. She’s pretty tough.”  Ryan Bell will handle Change Stride and Ryan Warwick will be in the sulky behind stablemate Simply Susational, who is poorly drawn at barrier seven. Ken Casellas

Promising mare Foxy Dame has recovered from a virus and in-form harness racing reinsman Shannon Suvaljko plans to end Sheer Rocknroll’s winning streak by proving superior when they clash in the 2536m Westral Quality Designed To Last Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Foxy Dame, trained at Henley Brook by Mike Reed, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and Suvaljko is planning for an all-the-way victory. “Foxy Dame will definitely hold out Sheer Rocknroll and she is ready to run a really good race in front,” Suvaljko said. The Ross Olivieri-trained Sheer Rocknroll, to be driven by Stuart McDonald, is handily drawn at barrier three. She is in outstanding form, winning at her past four starts and has won at seven of her past eight starts. She is a smart frontrunner, but can also unwind a spirited finishing burst. Foxy Dame warmed up for this week’s assignment in fine style last Friday night when she trailed the pacemaker Dodolicious before finishing fast to be an excellent second to that outstanding pacer. “They only sprinted over the final 200m,” Suvaljko said. “And the daughter of Badlands Hanover took ground off Dodolicious and hit the line well. “At her previous run, when she was recovering from a virus, Foxy Dame started from the back line and raced three back on the pegs and was badly blocked for a clear passage in the home straight. I didn’t pull the ear plugs and she got out with only 100m to go.” Foxy Dame will have to be at her best to defeat Sheer Rocknroll, a winner at 15 of her 35 starts who is in devastating form. Sheer Rocknroll has rated 1.56.4, 1.561, 1.56 and 1.56.7 in winning over 2130m at her past four starts. Suvaljko is also planning for an all-the-way win with the Reed-trained five-year-old Rycroft in the 2130m Westral Plantation Timber Shutters Pace in which he will start from the No. 2 barrier. “Obviously, Twoandahalf Tigers will be the one to beat,” Suvaljko said. “So we will have to keep him on our outside. Rycroft is a rolling type and I reckon he should win.”     Gary Hall jun., who will drive Twoandahalf Tigers, predicted a strong effort from his horse who will be having his first start for 18 weeks. “Twoandahalf Tigers is definitely a more genuine and better horse than Rycroft, but whether he can beat him first-up is questionable,” he said. Hall has given punters a lead by choosing to drive Bush Chook in preference to veteran Justlikelindt in the Westral Security Film And Window Tint Pace. He opted for Bush Chook after the David Young-trained gelding drew favourably at barrier two. Justlikelindt, trained by Lang Inwood, will start from barrier five and will be driven by Kim Prentice. Ten-year-old Justlikelindt has a losing sequence of 63, but his past two runs (with Hall in the sulky) have been encouraging. Two starts ago Justlikelindt raced three wide before working in the breeze and wilting to sixth behind Our Regal Ideal and last Friday night he raced three wide without cover for much of the way and fought on grandly from seventh at the bell to be third behind Qtown Rip Roaring and Fay Darling. Hall drove Bush Chook when he trailed the pacemaker Sprinter and finished a sound fourth to that smart pacer at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.  Ken Casellas

Six-year-old Libertybelle Midfrew has struck peak form and is poised to become at Gloucester Park on Friday night, only the eighth harness racing mare in the 62-year history of the Mount Eden Pace to win the Group 3 $50,000 feature event. Her prospects in Friday night’s event  soared when she drew the prized No. 1 barrier and Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko are planning for an all-the-way victory. In a major departure from the norm, the race will be decided over 2130m. The Mount Eden Sprint has been run over 1730m or 1700m for many years. The only mares to have won the Mount Eden Sprint, formerly known as the State Sprint Championship, and first run in 1955 when Bernie Cushing drove Village Chief to victory, are Dainty’s Daughter (1970), Pyramus (1971), Virgil Queen (1977), Kiwi Cloud (1978), Line On (1986), Whitbys Miss Penny (1992) and Sensational Gabby (2014). Reed has yet to train a winner of the Mount Eden Sprint, while Suvaljko will be keen to replicate his effort in 2010 when he drove 6/1 chance Real Life to an all-the-way win from barrier three in the Mount Eden Sprint. Reed has the high-priced New Zealand-bred Libertybelle Midfrew well and truly on track to be a major player in the TABtouch interdoiminion championship, which will get under way with the opening set of heats at Gloucester Park on November 25. The Christian Cullen mare started from barrier six and was a 25/1 chance in the 2015 Mount Eden Sprint when she finished strongly from seventh at the bell to be third behind Waylade and My Hard Copy. She also contested the 2014 Mount Eden Sprint when she started from barrier four and at 9/2. She ran home solidly, out wide, from eighth at the bell to be fifth behind Sensational Gabby. Libertybelle Midfrew cashed in on the preferential conditions for the 2536m Media Guild Cup and the 2130m Stratton Cup at her past two starts. Suvaljko made the most of the No. 1 barrier in both events in which Libertybelle Midfrew was untroubled to set the pace and win. She beat the fast-finishing Heez On Fire by a half-length in the Media Guild Cup and she sprinted over the final three quarters in 28.5sec., 27.3sec. and 28.1sec. when she scored by 4m from The Bucket List and Bettors Fire in the Stratton Cup. Her most recent success improved her record to 49 starts for 18 wins and 11 placings for earnings of $607,497.    Only two pacers have won the Mount Eden Sprint twice ---- Kolworth in 1961 and 1963 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011 and 2012. Trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper’s hopes of winning the Mount Eden Sprint again with Bettors Fire were dampened to a degree when the outstanding eight-year-old drew the outside barrier (No. 9). Bettors Fire led from the No. 1 barrier in 2013 when he defeated Im Victorious by almost three lengths at a 1.53.8 rate over 1730m. Then a year later Bettors Fire was a 20/1 chance when he surged home from the rear to be third behind Sensational Gabby. In last year’s race, Bettors Fire (14/1) thundered home from last the bell to be fourth behind Waylade. Last year’s winner Waylade will start from the No. 4 barrier on Friday night, but he faces a hard task after being unplaced at his past four starts. Waylade is one of five runners in the race prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. Hall’s chief hope looks certain to be the brilliant five-year-old Beaudiene Boaz, who is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven on the front line. In the Stratton Cup last Friday week Beaudiene Boaz was restrained at the start from barrier six and raced at the rear in the field of eight before starting a three-wide move 550m from home. He fought on determinedly to finish sixth, three lengths behind the winner. The final fast sectionals recorded by Libertybelle Midfrew set Beaudiene Boaz a hopeless task. A week earlier Beaudiene Boaz gave a sample of his great class when he rated 1.52.9 to smash the track record for 2130m in winning the Navy Cup by two and a half lengths from the pacemaker Bettors Fire. Gary Hall jun. sent Beaudiene Boaz forward with a three-wide move from last with 1050m to travel and the Badlands Hanover stallion burst to the front 680m from home. His final quarters were run in 27.3sec. and 28.2sec. Comeback pacer Heez On Fire, now trained by Bill Horn, is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line and the WA-bred seven-year-old should enjoy a perfect run behind the likely pacemaker Libertytbelle Midfrew. Heez On Fire, to be handled by Chris Lewis, enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, when fifth behind Libertybelle Midfrew in the Stratton Cup last Friday week. That followed his eye-catching first-up effort a fortnight earlier when he was eighth and last 250m from home before sprinting brilliantly in the straight to finish second, just a half-length behind Libertybelle Midfrew. Ken Casellas

Byford harness racing trainer Brendan Abbott has high hopes of starting the Gloucester Park meeting on a successful note by winning the opening event, the third heat of the Retravision Westbred Pace, with lightly-raced five-year-old Blacklist. And he has an excellent second string in four-year-old Cams Resurgence. The son of Courage Under Fire, to be handled by Shannon Suvaljko, will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and Cams Resurgence (Peter Tilbrook) is favourably drawn at barrier three. The 41-year-old Abbott took both pacers to Kellerberrin on Sunday and they warmed up for Friday night’s event in good style, with Blacklist sustaining a spirited burst which carried him from ninth at the bell to victory, by a length from Cams Resurgence, who fought on determinedly after working hard in the breeze all the way. Blacklist has been raced sparingly since he made a successful debut fort trainer-reinsman Suvaljko when he won a qualifying heat of the Sales Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park in April 2014. Then, at his next start, Blacklist finished third behind Persistent Threat and Captain Oats in the group 1 $100,000 final of the Sales Classic. While Blacklist impressed with his solid finishing effort at Kellerberrin on Sunday, he is certain to be seen in a vastly different role on Friday night. Suvaljko will be keen to take full advantage of the inside barrier and give the gelding the opportunity to enjoy a pacemaking role. Blacklist is a smart frontrunner who set the pace when a close third to Mako Shadow over 2620m at Northam three starts ago. Two starts before that, at his first appearance after a spell, Blacklist led and was beaten by a margin of a half-head by C C Chevron over 1730m at Kellerberrin. Cams Resurgence gave a stout-hearted performance three starts ago when he raced wide early and then without cover before winning from the pacemaker Texan Tycoon over 1730m at Gloucester Park. Before that victory Abbott had prepared Gloucester Park winners in the past decade with Ricky Rainbow, Death Adda, Shez Sensational and Sukhovey Wind. In an even field on Friday night, Hindu Rajah, Muscle Torque, Sea Me Smile, Gotta Go Chocolate and Master Play will have admirers. Gotta Go Chocolate, who will start from the outside of the back line, caught the eye at 87/1 when he was sixth at the bell and finished fast to be third behind Royal Mach and Kinda Black over 2536m last Friday night. He worked hard before winning easily over 2569m at Bunbury at his previous outing. Muscle Torque, a lightly-raced six-year-old who will start from barrier five, will pay to follow. He raced three back on the pegs in fifth position but was blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit when an unlucky fifth behind Mako Shadow over 2130m last Friday night. Hindu Rajah, trained and driven by Aldo Cortopassi, chalked up his third win from ten starts when he raced in the breeze before fighting on to get up and defeat the pacemaker Karloo over 1730m at Kellerberrin on Sunday. Ken Casellas

High-priced New Zealand import Kiwi Legend will have a new driver when he runs in the $18,500 Choices Flooring Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night --- and he should prove hard to beat after a strong performance in a 2150m harness racing trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Shannon Suvaljko, who will take over the reins from Mark Reed on Friday night, handled the five-year-old in the trial in which he finished strongly to win by more than two lengths from Bonny Under Fire after covering the final quarters in 29.2sec. and 28.7sec. Reed has handled Kiwi Legend in all of his 20 WA starts for five wins and ten placings. The Art Major gelding had only two starts in New Zealand for two wins in February 2015. Nothing went right for Kiwi Legend at his latest appearance, at Gloucester Park three Friday nights ago. He was restrained to last in a field of nine from barrier seven and certainly was not suited with a moderate lead time of 37.7sec. and modest opening quarters in 29.8sec. and 29.9sec. before the tempo was lifted with final sections of 27.6sec. and 28.7sec., with Kiwi Legend out three wide. His form before that was good. He raced one-out and one-back when second to the speedy Risk two starts ago, after his previous five starts produced a win, three seconds and a third. Kiwi Legend’s major (and serious) rival on Friday night looms large in the form of Tact Major, an up-and-coming New Zealand-bred five-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen. Tact Major’s 13 starts have all been in WA and have produced seven wins and two placings. Tact Major has resumed after an absence of eight months in fine style with effortless wins at Kellerberrin and Gloucester Park. He is well drawn at barrier two on Friday night. He raced three wide for most of the journey in both those events before finishing strongly. Ohoka Assassin, who has won at two of his four starts since resuming after an absence of almost two years, cannot be underestimated. The seven-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the inside of the back line and will have a perfect run if Kiwi Legend sets the pace. Kinda Black, a stablemate of Ohoka Assassin, is also worth consideration. He raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze when a fighting second to Royal Mach over 2536m last Friday night. Ken Casellas

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