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

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  

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

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

CHILLI PALMER HAS GOLDEN NUGGET AT HIS MERCY AFTER DAZZLING VICTORY Inexperienced New Zealand-bred gelding Chilli Palmer appears to have the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget at his mercy after producing an electrifying burst of dazzling speed to come from last at the 600m to score a superb record-breaking victory in the $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “This was only his third run back from a spell and so, in two weeks’ time, hopefully he’ll be even better,” said master reinsman Chris Alford after Chilli Palmer swamped his 11 rivals and careered away to win by just under a length from the pacemaker Condrieu. The Golden Nugget will be decided over 2536m at Gloucester Park next Friday week and regardless of what barrier Chilli Palmer draws he is sure to be a firm favourite. Chilli Palmer’s victory gave leading Victorian trainer Dean Braun his third win in three years in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic for four-year-olds. He was successful with Mustang Mach in 2011 and Chancellor Cullen 12 months ago. Chill Palmer, making his first appearance in Western Australia, drew unfavourably on the outside of the back line, but many astute punters were confident that he would stretch his winning sequence to six and the Elsu gelding was sent out equal favourite at 5/2 with Northview Punter, with New Zealand star Bit Of A Legend at 4/1. The first surprise in an up-tempo race of many moves came when Colin Brown got 16/1 chance Condrieu away brilliantly from barrier five on the front line. Condrieu burst past the polemarker My Hard Copy (9/1) and into the lead after 120m. Northview Punter also began speedily from the No. 4 barrier and he raced wide early before Gary Hall jun. got him across to race three back on the pegs soon after the start. Hall then eased Northview Punter off the pegs and into the breeze after 700m. Bit Of A Legend, from barrier six, and Nowitzki (barrier seven) were restrained to the rear in the field of 12 and Daniel Jack was the first to make a decisive move when he urged Nowitzki (14/1) forward and into the breeze with 1400m to travel. His run was followed by Bit Of A Legend, who got to the breeze 1250m from home. Robyns C C surged forward to be third at the bell and her three-wide burst was followed by Mexicano and Heez On Fire. But the ice-cool Alford was quite content to keep Chilli Palmer at the rear. Chilli Palmer was 12th and last in the one-wide line 600m from home before Alford made his move. Chilli Palmer sprinted fast down the back straight and he was forced five wide 300m from home as he sustained his blistering burst of speed. Chilli Palmer charged home down the outside and got the measure of Condrieu about 75m from the post. He drew away and won convincingly, with the conservative Alford showing a rare moment of exultation with a subdued wave of the whip. The final 800m was covered (off the front) in 57.9sec. and the last 400m in 28.8sec., with Chilli Palmer rating 1.57.2 over the 2536m journey. This smashed the track record for a four-year-old of 1.58.1 set by Northview Punter when he led and defeated Bettors Fire on October 1. My Hard Copy fought on determinedly to be third, a length in front of 20/1 chance Rocky Marciano, who had enjoyed an ideal trail three back on the pegs. Chilli Palmer, owned by Victorians Karlos Farah, Aziz Kheir, Mara Scarpino, Joe Pezzimenti, Sharyn Parkinson, Adam Mathews, Clint and Alex Badcock and Braun. The son of former star pacer Elsu has raced only nine times for seven wins, a second and a seventh placings for earnings of $121,450. Alford, who achieved the tremendous milestone of 5000 winners when successful with the Braun-trained Macho Comacho at Kilmore on October 27 this year, said that Braun had always had a “super opinion” of Chilli Palmer. “When they all went in front of me at the bell I was a little bit worried because the one in front of me couldn’t quite keep up that well,” he said. “But my horse was travelling so well down the back and when I went to pull the ear plugs he nearly ran up the tail of the horse I was tracking up. So I had to ease him out four wide and he just went around the corner like a greyhound and he sprinted like a jet. “He gets a little bit lost when he gets to the front. He probably hit the front about 100m out and he has a tendency to knock off. So I thought I had better give him a couple of cracks. I didn’t get the time to pull the plugs. I always thought I had Condrieu covered.” VOAK TARGETS LEDA McNALLY FOR RICH LADYSHIP MILE Young reinsman Chris Voak sang the praises of Leda McNally after driving the Victorian-bred five-year-old to an impressive narrow victory in the $40,000 Norm’s Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night, declaring her one of the fastest mares in Australia and New Zealand. And Voak is extremely keen for Leda McNally to challenge the best mares in the country by contesting the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 2. “She deserves to be invited to run in the Ladyship Mile,” he said. “She has the quickest turn of foot of any filly or mare in Australia. And I think she is one of the quickest mares in Australasia. She is a real good miler and a mile is her pet distance. “But it will not be a problem for her in the 2130m group 1 $100,000 Mares Classic next Friday night. Horses with her speed are always dangerous.” Leda McNally, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King for Victorian owner Greg Stubbs, was a 6/1 chance from the No. 4 barrier on the front line in the Norm’s Daughter Classic and Voak quickly had her in sixth position, one-out, two-back, with polemarker Askmenow (5/1) setting a brisk pace, with the heavily-supported 10/9 on favourite Bettor Cover Lover in the breeze, Famous Alchemist (8/1) trailing the pacemaker and Sensational Gabby (11/2) in the one-out, one-back position. Askmenow raced roughly when the mobile barrier sent the field on its way and Brent Mangos had Bettor Cover Lover (from the No. 2 barrier) a full length in front. But Askmenow (Gary Hall jun.) kicked up on the inside to hold out Bettor Cover Lover. After a quick first 400m section of the final mile in 28.6sec., Askmenow relaxed and went through the next section in 29.7sec. before she sprinted over the third quarter in 28sec. Bettor Cover Lover took a narrow lead 300m from home and then Famous Alchemist was being hailed the winner when Clint Hall dashed her to the front with about 130m to travel. However, Leda McNally flew home, out wide, to snatch victory by a head from Famous Alchemist, with Bettor Cover Lover almost two lengths farther back in third place. Askmenow finished fourth and, after a final quarter in 28.4sec., the winner rated 1.54.3 for the 1730m to improve her record to 43 starts for 17 wins, eight placings and $191,308 in prizemoney. HOKONUI BEN WARMS UP FOR SUMMER FEATURE EVENTS IN STYLE New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Hokonui Ben enhanced his prospects in the rich summer carnival feature events when he gave a dashing frontrunning display to win the 2130m McInerney Ford Falcon Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Making his second appearance after a spell for leading trainer Gary Hall sen., Hokonui Ben further illustrated the great advantage of the No. 1 barrier by winning the start from the speedy David Hercules (barrier two), setting the pace and scoring by 2m from the gallant David Hercules. A week earlier David Hercules, resuming after a spell, started from the No. 1 barrier, made all the running and won by six lengths over 1730m. Hoknui Ben, also racing first-up, started from barrier three and finished fifth. This week, most punters declared for Hokonui Ben from the prized No. 1 barrier and he started favourite at 7/4 on, with David Hercules at 5/2. After a moderate lead time of 37.8sec., Hokonui Ben dawdled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.4sec. before sprinting over the next quarters in 28.9sec., 27sec. and 27.8sec. to make the task of David Hercules (in the breeze) virtually impossible. David Hercules fought on grandly to be a 2m second, with 9/1 chance Ima Rocket Star three lengths farther back in third place after trailing the leader all the way. Hokonui Ben rated a slick 1.55.5 and took his record to 15 wins and 11 placings from 44 starts for stakes of $230,399. He has had 20 starts in WA for the Hall camp for nine wins and six placings. “In this sort of company barrier draws are very important,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “Until the big guns come out for the bigger money these races turn into a bit of a walk in the middle stages and then a sprint home. We were very happy with the draw tonight and we are happy with the way Hokonui Ben is going, too.” THE PARADE STRENGTHENS HER CLAIMS FOR THE WA OAKS New Zealand-bred filly The Parade maintained her unbeaten record as a three-year-old and gave further proof that she is developing into a leading candidate for the WA Oaks next year when she overcame the disadvantage of an unfavourable barrier to win the 2130m McInerney Ford Belmont Service Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice has brought The Parade back after a spell in tremendous shape and the filly is going from strength to strength. After one minor placing from three starts as a two-year-old The Parade has scored decisive victories at her first four starts as a three-year-old. Her win on Friday night completed a training and driving double for the 25-year-old Prentice, who was successful earlier in the night with Braemoor. The Parade, second favourite at 5/2, started from the outside of the back line and Prentice settled her in seventh place in the one-wide line as Shane Butcher sent 13/2 chance Lipizzaner to an early lead from polemarker Artistic Copper, with the 11/8 favourite The Prodigy in the breeze. A slow lead time followed by a dawdling first 400m section of the final mile in 31.8sec. sparked Prentice into action and he dashed The Parade forward to move into the breeze 1200m from home. Prentice was content to keep The Parade outside of the pacemaker until he sent her to the front with 250m to travel. The Parade dashed over the final 400m in 28.3sec. and won by 4m from Then Prodigy, with 11m back to the third placegetter, the 55/1 outsider Flicka Whitby, a stablemate of the winner who was driven by Prentice’s father Kim. Flicka Whitby finished solidly from tenth at the bell. The winner rated 1.59.8. The Parade, whose maternal granddam Atomic Lass produced former star pacer Auckland Reactor (53 starts for 32 wins, four placings and $1,759,374 in prizemoney), has won at four of her seven starts for earnings of $37,080. SOHO REDFORD MAKES THE MOST OF THE No. 1 BARRIER The two youngest runners in the 2536m McInerney Ford Focus Westbred Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night dominated betting, with Soho Redford favourite at 10/9 and Extreme Dreams at 6/4. The four-year-olds dominated proceedings, with Soho Redford taking full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier to set the pace and win easily from Extreme Dreams, who started from the inside of the back line and raced without cover for most of the way. Back in third place, three lengths behind Extreme Dreams, was 20/1 chance Atomic Chip, who ran home nicely from eighth at the bell. “When he’s in front he’s a different horse,” said Vance Stampalia, who drove the son of Mach Three for his sister, Wanneroo trainer Tonia Stampalia. “He is going pretty good and in the past when he has led he has either won or been beaten by some pretty smart horses.” Soho Redford, bred and owned by Rob Watson, has earned $37,152 from six wins and seven placings from 30 starts and he looks set for further successes in the city. He is out of the unraced Dream Away mare Dream Bet and is a full-brother to five-year-old Soho Indianapolis, who has had 58 starts for ten wins, 15 placings and $58,270 in stakes. JAR ZINYO CAUSES AN UPSET AND ENDS 23-MONTH DROUGHT South Australian-bred seven-year-old Jar Zinyo ended a 23-month drought and broke a losing sequence of 20 when he started at 15/1 and caused a major upset when he flashed home to snatch victory from the 10/1 on favourite Dredlock Rockstar in the 1730m McInerney Ford Falcon Ute Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Dredlock Rockstar, stylish all-the-way winner of the 2130m Parliamentarians Cup at his previous outing, was considered a certainty by most punters. But he played the pivotal role in his defeat by a half-head when, after starting from the No. 1 barrier and being smartest into stride, he broke into a gallop for about two strides on the first bend, shortly after the start. This prompted Shannon Suvaljko to dash 62/1 outsider Xupan Three forward in a determined bid for the lead. However, the move was unsuccessful as Kaiden Hayter quickly got Dredlock Rockstar back into a smooth pacing action. But this early action placed considerable pressure on Dredlock Rockstar, who sped through the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.8sec. Then after resisting the early challenge from Xupan Three, Dredlock Rockstar was kept under pressure from Kiss Chasey and Wrongly Accused (three wide). After the second and third quarters in 29.6sec. and 29.2sec. Dredlock Rockstar sprinted fast in the final quarter which took just 28.7sec. However, he was beaten in the final stride by Jar Zinyo, who started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaker throughout. “It looked as though Jar Zinyo would be guaranteed second money, starting from the inside of the back line and behind the favourite,” said reinsman Gary Hall jun. “You probably would have thought that if he did get a crack at the leader late he would definitely struggle to pick him up. I didn’t think that Jar Zinyo had that point-to-poi8nt speed in him, but he really crunched the line when he found it.” “On that run he should win a few more city races. He’s had his fair share of leg problems since he has been here (in WA) and this is probably the first time we have got him up and running without any problem.” Jar Zinyo, who gave Hall and his father, trainer Gary Hall sen., the first leg of a double, had been unsuccessful at his first ten WA starts. His previous win was in a 2240m stand at Melton in December 2011. A smart juvenile performer, Jar Zinyo, owned by Douglas Webster, has earned $126,874 from 18 wins and 25 placings from 81 starts. He is the last foal out of the WA-bred mare Whitby Heritage, who amassed $201,758 from 22 wins and 18 placings from 66 starts. OUR MAJOR MARK DEFIES THE ODDS AND BOOSTS HIS EARNINGS TO $634,370 Our Major Mark provides a perfect example that breeding is not everything in horse racing. He is the sixth and last foal out of the unraced Live Or Die mare Gucci Franco and he boosted his earnings to $634,370 from 22 wins and 17 placings from 65 starts when he scored an easy victory in the third heat of the 2130m McInerney Ford FPV The Kersley Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The only other winner out of Gucci Franco is Supersonic Cullen, who raced 23 times for three wins in minor events and six placings for stakes of $15,913. He won once at Yarra Valley in 2006 and twice at Cranbourne in 2008. Our Major Mark’s win by a length over Toretto on Friday night was his tenth from 20 starts in Western Australia and gave trainers Greg and Skye Bond the second leg of a double after Lunar Tide’s easy win in the previous event. Veteran pacer Rojen Cruz set the pace and Ryan Warwick was happy to rate Our Major Mark in the breeze until sending the New Zealand-bred six-year-old to the front 480m from home. Our Major Mark, who started at $3.10 on the tote, dashed over the final 800m in 56.3sec. and the last 400m in 27.8sec. and won comfortably from Toretto, who started tote favourite at $3.The winner rated 1.57.3. Toretto, aiming at his third win in a row, started out wide at barrier six and he raced in sixth place in the one-wide line in the field of seven. Gary Hall jun. switched him three wide with 750m to travel and he ran home determinedly. Hez The Bart Man ran home solidly from last at the bell to be third. “He probably should run to his ability more often,” said Warwick. “He has a mind of his own. Tonight he felt good in the preliminary and came off the arm very well. I really wasn’t bothered being in the breeze in the small field. It didn’t matter where we were, as long as we didn’t do anything silly and became a sitting shot. “He felt really good in the run and still had a bit up his sleeve. When he wants to he can do really good things.” BLACK PONTIAC CONTINUES TO EXCEL AS A FRONTRUNNER “Barrier one around here really helps,” said trainer Donald Harper after driving 9/1 chance Black Pontiac to an all-the-way win over Mighty Flying Thomas and Sanjaya in the 1730m McInerney Ford Fiesta Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper also had made full use of the No. 1 barrier by guiding Black Pontiac to his two previous victories, both over 1730m at Gloucester Park, in August and October this year. “Obviously it gets a lot harder from now (with Black Pontiac graduating to an M3 classification), but with good barriers and in short races I think he will still earn money.” A noted frontrunner, Black Pontiac easily resisted an early challenge from the 2/1 on favourite Ohoka Samson and after a 28.9sec. quarter of the final mile, he had a breather with a 30.2sec. section before sprinting over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 28.1sec. to score by 4m at a 1.55.2 rate from 22/1 chance Mighty Flying Thomas, who raced four back on the pegs before surging home along the inside. Ohoka Samson, racing first-up after a brief let-up, wilted after working hard in the breeze and finished last in the field of nine. Black Pontiac, bred in Victoria, has earned $105,097 from 17 wins and 11 placings from 83 starts. BRAEMOOR OVERCOMES A SLOW START TO UPSET THE FAVOURITE A tardy beginning from the 10m mark saw Braemoor well back in 11th position in the middle stages of the 2503m McInerney Ford Ranger Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But considerable mid-race pressure applied to the pacemaker and 2/1 favourite Lord Coburn played into the hands of Braemoor, who dashed forward, three wide, from 11th at the 880m mark to move into the breeze 400m from home and then get to the front in the final 25m to win by a metre from Lord Coburn, with Erris Lad finishing with a late burst, a close third. Lord Coburn had an easy time in front until Adda Paternal Suit dashed forward to move into the breeze after a lap. Adda Paternal Suit then began to overrace badly, leaving the 30m backmarker Shardons Rocket out on a limb, three wide. This pressure on Coburn Bay led to that gelding sprinting over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.1sec., leaving him susceptible to late challenges. Braemoor accelerated quickly and Justin Prentice had him outside the pacemaker just before the turn out of the back straight. Prentice said that the fast pace had helped Braemoor. “I was a bit worried about Courageous Ned getting off the fence (from behind the leader) when I got to the breeze,” he said. “So when Braemoor got there I took a hold of him --- and he switched off and didn’t want to get going.” However, Braemoor responded to Prentice’s urgings and he overhauled Lord Coburn in the final stages. This was the New Zealand-bred Braemoor’s seventh win from 23 WA starts and it took his overall record to ten wins and 12 placings from 54 starts for stakes of $93,606. LUNAR TIDE MAKES AMENDS FOR HIS SURPRISE DEFEAT New Zealand-bred five-year-old Lunar Tide made amends for his defeat at 5/1 on at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he started at 3/1 on and proved far too good for his nine rivals in the 2536m McInerney Ford Morley Service Pathway Pace on Friday night. Driven by Colin Brown for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, Lunar Tide mustered plenty of early pace from barrier four and surged to the front 150m after the start. He set a solid pace and sprinted over the final 800m in 57.8sec. to win by 10m from 12/1 chance Zurbaran, who trailed him all the way. Lunar Tide rated 1.58.9. The previous week Lunar Tide led in a 2130m event before finishing second to Soho Highroller, who rated a slick 1.56.7. “He copped a fair bit of attention last week and they went 1.56, which is a bit beyond him at this stage,” Brown explained. “Getting the comfortable lead time tonight and an easy first quarter really set it up for him. “He just keeps improving. I didn’t think much of him when I first sat behind him. He has gone out and had a spell and has come back far better. He’s the type of horse who could continue to improve.” by Ken Casellas  

Wanneroo harness racing trainer Debbie Padberg and her husband John have been enjoying the drive home after Friday night meetings at Gloucester Park in recent weeks. For the fourth time in the past six weeks horses owned by the Padbergs and trained by Debbie have won the final event on the program.

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