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Team Bond has strength in numbers. But that does not guarantee success, certainly not in the biggest event on the West Australian harness racing calendar, the Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park this Friday night. The famed Grand Circuit event, first staged in 1913 when Letty Lind proved triumphant, has a rich and proud history and features some of the biggest names of the sport, both human and equine. Champion pacers Pure Steel and Village Kid are forever etched in the pages of history with four wins apiece while the Gary Hall trained duo of The Falcon Strike and Im Themightyquinn have each won it three times. But many a talented horse and trainer/driver partnership have come up short over the course of time. Greg and Skye Bond, the husband and wife combination who work together from their picturesque Forrestdale property are yet to strike glory in the state’s biggest race. And it’s through no lack of trying. Since 2013, the leading stable has had 13 starters including six representatives last year with El Jacko doing best for the stable after finishing a close second behind Rocknroll Lincoln. Their list of starters during that period includes Can Return Fire, Russley Rascal, Ima Rocket Star, Our Jimmy Johnstone (x 3), Delightful Offer, Galactic Star (x 2), Our Max Phactor, Vampiro, Saying Grace and the already mentioned El Jacko. The stable never had a starter in 2016. In the 2020 version, the reigning State Trainers of the Year will have a record seven (7) starters facing the gate in the 2936m mobile start feature including Our Jimmy Johnstone (Bailey McDonough), Our Alfie Romeo (Michael Grantham), El Jacko (Kim Prentice), Mighty Conqueror (Dylan Egerton-Green), Ana Malak (Nathan Turvey), Vampiro (Colin Brown) and Galactic Star (Ryan Warwick). Is aging warrior Our Jimmy Johnstone the pick of their runners after landing the coveted inside gate? The 11-year-old gelding is lining up at his 4th attempt at glory; he had his first start in the WA Pacing Cup back in 2015 when he finished fourth behind My Hard Copy. He finished 11th in 2017 behind Chicago Bull while he was 5th last year behind Rocknroll Lincoln. Or will it be in-form mare Our Alfie Romeo to provide the couple with their maiden Pacing Cup trophy? Possessing a brilliant win strike rate and superb Gloucester Park record, the Washington VC mare will become the first mare since Pyramus (1972) to win the Pacing Cup. Both Ana Malak and Galactic Star seemed luckless last week in the Fremantle Cup behind Caviar Star while El Jacko, Mighty Conqueror and Vampiro all have solid claims with normal luck. Will the Pacing Cup go the way of the Gary Hall stable yet again? Since 2002, the Hall surname has featured in the winners list twelve times with Snr preparing 11 winners during that period while Jnr has driven eight (8) winners including last year’s victor Rocknroll Lincoln. Clint Hall combined with Snr to claim three straight winners – Hokonui Ben (2014) while My Hard Copy went back to back in 2015/16. Last week’s Fremantle Cup winner Caviar Star is the sole representative for the powerful stable and again will be handled by young Stuart McDonald. The last pacer to claim the Fremantle/WA Pacing Cup double in the same year was the Hall trained Chicago Bull in 2017. Will the husband and wife combination of Chris and Debbie Lewis land the Pacing Cup with their emerging star Bill Haley? His third placing last week in the Fremantle Cup gives an excellent chance of providing Chris Lewis his sixth winner in the event after previous victories behind Village Kid (x 3), Hilarion Star and Saab. Golden Nugget winner Shockwave is looking to bounce back following his unplaced effort last week in the Fremantle Cup, trainer Ryan Bell has handed the reins to Gary Hall Jnr again and is hoping to land his biggest success as a trainer. Shockwave is co-owned by Kevin Jeavons who shared in the ownership of 2010 winner Washakie. Former WA Derby winner Handsandwheels is looking to overcome a tough run last week in the Fremantle Cup but faces a difficult challenge after landing a second-line draw. Aiden De Campo will take the drive behind the classy six-year-old entire, a pacer he prepares himself. And evergreen performer Vultan Tin lines up for his third Pacing Cup start, the Phil Costello trained gelding has finished 10th in the past two editions (Rocknroll Lincoln & Soho Tribeca). Regular reinsman Chris Voak will take the drive behind the popular performer. The WA Pacing Cup is the fifth leg of the 2019/20 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the Australian owned and New Zealand trained Cruz Bromac sits atop of the leaderboard with 170 points after contesting all four legs staged to date. No runners from the east coast of Australia are represented this year owing to transport difficulties. The TABtouch WA Pacing Cup is scheduled as race 6 and listed to start at 7.58pm local time.   by Chris Barsby

Gary Hall Jnr has produced another masterful display of driving at Gloucester Park tonight, chalking up his eighth win in the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup (2936m) with the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln. Three months ago it looked as if Hall Jnr would struggle to add to his seven Pacing Cup wins when his father’s superstar pacer Chicago Bull injured himself in New Zealand. But on the state’s biggest Harness Racing stage, Hall Jnr showed his class with the horse that filled the breach left by Chicago Bull. There was some doubt as to whether Rocknroll Lincoln would be able to find the lead from barrier two, but that doubt was quickly dispelled within the first 100m of the race, as the five-year-old crossed Maczaffair with ease. Fremantle Cup winner My Field Marshal elected to ease back in the early stages and eventually found himself only slightly better than midfield on the back of Galactic Star. Vampiro was forced to settle outside the leader, which gave Galactic Star, the best chance of Greg and Skye Bond’s six runners, the perfect trail into the race. Despite the high quality of horses behind him, Rocknroll Lincoln fought on strongly to the line and rated 1.56.8 in the 1.3m victory. El Jacko ran on well for second, while Maczaffair held on for third. Hall Jnr said he had some small concerns heading into the race, but was full of praise for Prentice’s training performance. “I was confident and hopeful, but I think I was more hopeful than I was confident,” he said. “The horse was in such good order. “He warmed up really well and he was nice and relaxed. “Hats off to Justin because in his last two starts he hadn’t really got a good crack at them. “For him to turn him out again tonight and lead and run that trip, it was a pretty special effort.” Hall Jnr returned later in the evening to drive a further two winners in You Gotta Have Faith and Caviar Star. You can hear from the beaten drivers from the WA Pacing Cup below. Review all of the action of TABtouch-WA Pacing Cup night here.   Tim Walker

It’s Prentice….again! Outstanding young horseman Justin Prentice has joined his father Kim as a winner of the state’s biggest event following the all the way victory of emerging talent Rocknroll Lincoln in the Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park tonight (Friday). The victory provides back to back triumphs for the Prentice family after Kim steered the Bryan Cousins trained Soho Tribeca to victory last year. Kim has also scored with Im Themightyquinn (2011 - driver) and Baltic Eagle (2003 – trainer/driver). But tonight was all about this young formidable combination. The Prentice prepared stayer was expertly handled by master reinsman Gary Hall Jnr who controlled the speed perfectly behind the five-year-old before holding off the fast finishing El Jacko and Maczaffair to claim the 2936m mobile start feature. For Hall Jnr, 35, the victory now provides him with his 8th Cup winner and he now passes legendary horseman Phil Coulson as the most successful driver in the events history. Amazingly, Hall Jnr has won 8 of the past 18 editions (The Falcon Strike x3, Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn x 2 and Chicago Bull). Starting front gate two, Hall Jnr pounced on the early lead from Maczaffair while My Field Marshal and Galactic Star both took up handy positions in the moving line. The lead time was covered in 97.8 seconds. With positions sorted quickly and Hall Jnr controlling the early speed, the lack of pressure was obvious and the race was unfolding perfectly for the connections of Rocknroll Lincoln. The first half of the final mile was covered in identical splits of 29.4 and 29.4 seconds. Rocknroll Lincoln remained the leader from Vampiro who raced without cover with Maczaffair behind the leader while Galactic Star and My Field Marshal sat close in the moving line. Entering the back straight for the final time, Hall Jnr increased the pressure while Vultan Tin got My Field Marshal moving three wide which in turn flushed Galactic Star from the one out, one back position. And that’s when Hall Jnr really quickened the speed. The third quarter was covered in 27.7 seconds. In the home straight, Rocknroll Lincoln kicked clear before holding the late challengers El Jacko and Maczaffair. At the line, Rocknroll Lincoln ($3.50) scored by 1.3 metres from El Jacko ($8.50) who used inside runs with a similar margin back to Maczaffair ($41) in third. Race favourite My Field Marshal ($2.75) finished fourth. The final quarter was covered in 28.7seconds. The mile rate was 1:56.8 and established a new race record but was outside of the track record of Smolda at 1:55.8. “It’s a massive thrill and it’s great to win for this group of owners who have supported me from the start, it’s quite surreal and I was really nervous before the race but it played out well and it was a great drive from Jnr.” Prentice said. Rocknroll Lincoln has now 14 of his 42 starts and takes his earnings in excess of $464,000. He now joins Tiger Tara (Victoria Cup & Inter Dominion), Thefixer (New Zealand Cup) and Turn It Up (Auckland Cup) as winners on the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit. The remaining legs for the current term include the Hunter Cup (February 2 - Melton), Miracle Mile (March 3 - Menangle) and the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship (Albion Park – July 20).   Chris Barsby

Trainer Mike Reed has declared Maczaffair will be doing everything she can to hold the lead in the early stages of tomorrow night’s Group 1 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup (2936m) at Gloucester Park. The sole mare in the field had her chances of winning increase following the barrier draw on Tuesday morning, when she drew barrier one, with fancied runners Rocknroll Lincoln and My Field Marshal to her outside. Earlier this week, Gary Hall Jnr, who drives Rocknroll Lincoln tomorrow night, indicated on TABradio he would look to lead from barrier two, but Reed told the same station this morning Maczaffair would look to utilise her advantage from gate one with his son Mark Reed engaged to drive. “I couldn’t be happier with her and she’s ready to rock and roll,” he said. “I will leave it up to Mark, but he said when he worked her ‘she’s the best she’s ever felt’. “The only one we’d be handing up to would be My Field Marshal, but Mark said yesterday ‘why hand up’. “If she gets a lot of pressure from My Field Marshal we may let him go.” Maczaffair drew barrier six in last week’s Fremantle Cup and had little luck in the closing stages, before she eventually finished sixth behind My Field Marshal. The five-year-old will be out to become the first mare since 1972 to take out the state’s most prestigious race. She will also be looking to become just the 20th mare to win the race. Reed said he was confident Maczaffair was back to the form from the start of her preparation that saw her run second to Vampiro in the Mount Eden Sprint. “She ran the quickest half she’s ever run at Gloucester Park yesterday,” he said. “She ran second in the Mount Eden Sprint first-up and it might have just taken the edge off her a bit. “The last couple of weeks we have freshened her up and she’s jumping out of her skin. “12 months ago she ran second to Ultimate Machete in the Golden Nugget. “If Ultimate Machete had drawn one, he’d most probably be favourite.” My Field Marshal remains a solid $1.85 favourite for the WA Pacing Cup, while Rocknroll Lincoln ($4.20) and Galactic Star ($4.60) are the only other runners in single figure odds. Reed’s Henley Brook stable also has the in-form Golden State engaged in the second heat of the Nights Of Thunder Series (1730m). Golden State won back-to-back races after his sixth placing in the Golden Nugget last month, before he finished second at his most recent start behind Neighlor last Friday. The smart four-year-old has drawn barrier four tomorrow night and Reed said he expected him to be driven quietly. “I expect Tanaka Eagle will lead and we will be outside him or in the one-one position,” he said. “If you don’t burn him out of the gate, he definitely comes home a lot better.” Each of the three Nights Of Thunder heats have nine runners engaged, with the fastest nine horses across the heats qualifying for next week’s Final. Tomorrow night’s Gloucester Park meeting gets underway at 5.50.   Tim Walker

Reigning Miracle Mile champion My Field Marshal is looking to join a select group. The fastest pacer in Australasia (1:46.9) is set to join an exclusive club by winning the Miracle Mile one year followed by the WA Pacing Cup the following year. The members include Our Sir Vancelot (1997/98), Westburn Grant (1990/91) and Village Kid (1987/88) - three of the all-time greats with 179 combined victories and prizemoney in excess of $6.3 million. Another great in Preux Chevalier (40 wins - $790,331) achieved the feat in reverse, he won the Miracle Mile in 1984 before winning the WA Pacing Cup in 1985. And My Field Marshal is drawn to advantage after landing gate three for the 2936m mobile start feature. Fresh from his commanding victory in last week’s Fremantle Cup, the Art Major entire is looking to provide master horsemen Tim and Anthony Butt another Grand Circuit triumph. The Canterbury born brothers have won in excess of 100 Grand Circuit events, pacers and trotters combined! Interestingly, they’re yet to strike Grand Circuit event in Perth. Chicago Bull was the last horse to complete the Fremantle/WA Pacing Cups double (2017). The last time a winner came outside of the state’s border was Washakie back in 2010, prepared by then Queensland based John McCarthy. My Field Marshal is the only interstate trained runner contesting this year’s feature. The Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup is the fifth leg of the 2018/19 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit, the staying feature is steeped in history after first being staged back in 1913 when Letty Lind proved victorious. The great race has been won by the likes of Beau Don, Radiant Oro, James Eden, Just Too Good, Don’t Retreat, Pure Steel, San Simeon, Gammalite, Preux Chevalier and Village Kid among others. In recent times, names like Westburn Grant, Our Sir Vancelot, The Falcon Strike, Baltic Eagle, Im Themightyquinn and My Hard Copy are listed as winners. Many of these great names listed above have won the Cup more than once. Last year, Soho Tribeca defeated Chicago Bull in an enthralling battle but sadly, neither pacer will start this year. Since 2002, the Hall stable have won the staying feature 11 times. The master conditioner has triumphed with The Falcon Strike (x3), Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn (x3), Hokonui Ben, My Hard Copy (x2) and Chicago Bull. This year, the Hall stable will be represented by Runrunjimmydunn. Team Bond, the leading stable in the state has weight in numbers and provide half the field, 6 of the 12 runners. Greg and Skye Bond will be represented by Our Max Phactor (Dylan Egerton-Green), Galactic Star (Ryan Warwick), Vampiro (Colin Brown), Our Jimmy Johnstone (Michael Grantham), El Jacko (Aiden De Campo) and Saying Grace (Chris Lewis). The impressive stable is chasing their maiden success in the Cup. Astute mentor Ross Olivieri, a winner of the Cup in 1999 with Saab, is represented by last start winner Im Full Of Excuses. Shannon Suvaljko, a winner of the Cup in 2008 with Vanlo Yorker is engaged to drive Im Full Of Excuses. Father/son combination of Mike and Mark Reed are chasing their first win in the Cup and line-up classy mare Maczaffair who starts from the inside gate. The last mare to win the state’s showcase event was Pyramus back in 1972 while Dainty’s Daughter won in 1970. Emerging open class force Rocknroll Lincoln will have plenty of followers after his unlucky effort last week in the Fremantle Cup. Prepared by brilliant young horseman Justin Prentice, Rocknroll Lincoln will be handled by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. Hall Jnr has won the Cup seven times previously. Rugged pacer Vultan Tin starts in the Cup for the second time for trainer Phil Costello and regular driver Chris Voak. Last year, they finished 10th. If My Field Marshal proves successful, he gains an excellent chance of being a major player for the title of Grand Circuit champion with a number of features still to come this term back on the east coast. Inter Dominion hero Tiger Tara currently leads the race with 260 points. The TABtouch WA Pacing Cup is scheduled as race 5 and listed to start at 7.58pm local time.   Chris Barsby

This Friday night sees the running of the $450,000 TABtouch-WA Pacing Cup (2936m) at Gloucester Park, the first of seven Grand Circuit Harness races for the calendar year. First run in 1913, where it was taken out by Letty Lind, the state’s premier race became a part of the Grand Circuit in 1977 where it sits alongside races like the Hunter Cup and Inter Dominion. Notable winners of the WA Pacing Cup previously include; Pure Steel (1977, 1978, 1979, 1980), San Simeon (1981), Preux Chevalier (1984), Village Kid (1985, 1986, 1988, 1989), The Falcon Strike (2002, 2004, 2005), Im Themightyquinn (2011, 2012, 2013) and My Hard Copy (2015, 2016). Friday night will mark the 90th time the WA Pacing Cup has been run at Gloucester Park, after the first 16 editions of the race were run at the WACA Ground. Soho Tribeca took out last year’s WA Pacing Cup for reinsman Kim Prentice and trainer Bryan Cousins. Soho Tribeca’s win in last year’s Pacing Cup broke a run of seven straight wins in the race for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr. Hall Snr has been the dominant figure in the WA Pacing Cup over the past two decades, winning 11 of the past 17 editions of the race. This year, his sole runner in the race is Runrunjimmydunn, to be driven by Clinton Hall, a winner of three Pacing Cups himself. Gary Hall Jnr has been a big beneficiary of his father’s dominance in the race, winning it on seven occasions. As he did in the Fremantle Cup last week, Hall Jnr has elected to team up with the Justin Prentice-trained Rocknroll Lincoln in this week’s feature. My Field Marshal is once again the favourite to take out the WA Pacing Cup, as he was in the Village Kid Pace and Fremantle Cup. The last horse to win the Village Kid, Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in the one year was The Falcon Strike in season 2003/2004. Chicago Bull was the most recent horse to claim the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in the one season, one of eight times since 1988 a pacer has achieved that feat. Maczaffair, the sole mare in this week’s WA Pacing Cup, will be looking to become 20th mare to win the race and the first since 1972. The TABtouch-WA Pacing Cup gets underway at 7.55 on Friday night.   Tim Walker

Apart from the breeders of the handful of multiple WA Pacing Cup winners only one breeder has managed to breed two winners of a WA Pacing Cup. Western Australian breeder Norm Duncan had a stud farm in Mills Road, Gosnells and while he stood a stallion or two he was basically a hobby breeder and owner. Duncan’s two Pacing Cup winners were Dark David in 1947 and David’s Reward in 1955 and were two of nine individual WA Cup starters that Norm Duncan bred. Those nine horses had a total of 18 starts in a WA Pacing Cup. Some idea of the enormity of Duncan’s WA Pacing Cup record as a breeder can be gauged from the fact that only J P Stratton comes close with eight individual Cup starters as a breeder with those horses having a total of 15 starts in the race. Stratton bred the winners of 1034 races in Western Australia of which just under half (503). were in the city. Norm Duncan bred the winners of 309 races in this State of which 205 (67%) were in the city. Modern day breeding legend Mick Lombardo is third on the list of breeders of WA Pacing Cup starters with seven individual starters of 13 starts courtesy of his Lombo Standardbreds breeding operation. Mr Lombardo was involved with two other Pacing Cup starters through other breeding entities. Norm Duncan was also prominent as an owner of WA Pacing Cup runners with 9 individual starters which had a total of 19 starts in the race between 1941 and 1960. While Duncan was the sole owner of his 19 starters in the race, modern day owner Beth Richardson heads the list with a share in the ownership of 20 Pacing Cup starters through 11 individual horses. The record for most individual starters in a WA Pacing Cup for an owner is held by Hall Of Fame trainer Cliff Clarke who owned 13 individual Pacing Cup runners which had a total of 17 starts in the race. Hall of Fame nominee Jim Hand had 12 individual starters in WA’s premier harness race and those horses amassed 15 starts in the race. Both of the WA Pacing Cup winners bred by Norm Duncan were sons of the stallion Storm Cloud which had been bred in Tasmania by Edgar Tatlow in 1930 and imported to WA in late 1934 by Jack Hallam. Storm Cloud had been through several owners and trainers winning 10 races in Perth before being purchased by Norm Duncan in 1939 and entering the stables of Arthur Hough. Storm Cloud was to mix racing and stud duties for a further five years winning a further 10 races including a heat of the 1941 WA Pacing Cup and the 1944 Stratton Cup at the age of 14 years. Storm Cloud sired a total of 33 individual winners in WA of which 20 were bred by Norm Duncan and six of his 33 winners started in a WA Pacing Cup. In addition to his two winners for Norm Duncan he also sired Huon Cloud which was runner-up in the 1943 WA Pacing Cup. Eleven of the 12 starters in the 2019 WA Pacing Cup are New Zealand bred with only Vultan Tin representing Australian (and West Australian) breeders. Starter Breeder Year    Sire Dam El Jacko NZ Kahukuri Bloodstock Ltd 2012  g Elsu NZ Exposay NZ Galactic Star NZ P T Cummings, D J Cummings, J M Davie 2012  g Bettors Delight USA Petras Star NZ Im Full Of Excuses NZ O Haines, I K Haines 2011 g Jeremes Jet USA Minnie Me NZ Maczaffair NZ Alabar (NZ) Ltd 2013 f Mach Three CA Presidential Affair NZ My Field Marshal NZ S A Brown, S B Brown 2011 c Art Major USA Foreal NZ Our Jimmy Johnstone NZ J K McRae 2008 g P Forty Seven USA Sammi Franco NZ Our Max Phactor NZ Breckon Bloodstock Limited 2012 g Art Major USA Tact Philly NZ Rocknroll Lincoln NZ Lincoln Farms Ltd 2013 c Rocknroll Hanover USA Preside Over NZ Runrunjimmydunn NZ J P Green, B Hughes, P G Hughes 2013 g American Ideal USA Delightful Paula NZ Saying Grace NZ The Daily Grind Syndicate 2013 g American Ideal USA Move Heaven Andearth NZ Vampiro NZ L W Ridge, M E Slagter 2013 g Rocknroll Hanover USA Fortune Lover NZ Vultan Tin P J Costello, D A Costello 2011 g Dawn Ofa New Day USA Ellevarrac     Alan Parker

The Barrier Draw has been conducted for the 2019 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup worth $450,000 at Gloucester Park this Friday night. Last week’s Fremantle Cup winner and Australasia’s fastest pacer, My Field Marshal has once again fared well, drawing barrier three. The Tim Butt trained star should retain favouritism to win the big Western Australian double. The Justin Prentice trained and Gary Hall Jr driven Rocknroll Lincoln will start from an ideal barrier in two with the only mare in the field Maczaffair drawing the coveted rails ally. Once again, despite having six runners, the Greg and Skye Bond Stable were without luck with the majority of their runners drawing the outside of the front line. Galactic Star in seven, Vampiro in eight and Our Jimmy Johnstone out in nine, with El Jacko inside of the back line (10) and Saying Grace on his immediate outside in barrier eleven. Popular local pacer, Vultan Tin has drawn the outside of the back line in barrier 12.   The Barrier draw for the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup for 2019 is as follows; Maczaffair Rocknroll Lincoln My Field Marshal Our Max Phactor Runrunjimmydunn Im Full Of Excuses Galactic Star Vampiro Our Jimmy Johnstone El Jacko Saying Grace Vultan Tin Gotta Go Gabbana (1st Emg) Mitch Maguire (2nd Emg) The first race scheduled for 5.50pm WA time, with the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing set to jump as race five at 7.55 WA time. There is live trackside entertainment all night and tables are still available for bookings in our premier restaurant The Beau Rivage. To book contact Gloucester Park on 9323 3530.  Gloucester Park

Images from our bumper TABtouch WA Pacing Cup night have been uploaded to Gloucester Park's Facebook page! The spoils of the night went the way of the Watson family - Robert Watson bred Soho Tribeca himself and took obvious pleasue in the hard-fought victory. Our cameras were there to capture every goosebump giving moment of the $450,000 Gr.1 Grand Circuit event. The 10 race card also saw three heats of the TABtouch Nights Of Thunder being run - with the fastest horses over the three heats making up the final field. Cut For An Ace dropped a 1:51.8 mile-rate from the front to secure his spot in the final. Kids were kept entertained by the trackside band, free bouncy castle, free showbag and ate free in the Beau Rivage thanks to our family friendly January promotions. All Images in the album were taken by our race-night social media provider - Scott Hamilton Media << VIEW ALL THE PHOTOS AND LIKE OUR PAGE HERE! >>

Owner Robert Watson claimed his biggest harness racing victory last night at Gloucester Park in the Group One $450,000 TabTouch WA Pacing Cup with his outstanding horse, Soho Tribeca. The son of American Ideal who won the Group 1 Golden Nugget last year has been a real force in all the big races this year including the Inter Dominion Final. Driver Kim Prentice and Soho Tribeca was caught wide early and eventually led and once there controlled the race over the extreme distance of 2936 metres and won very easily in a mile-rate of 1:56.9 for the distance. Trained by Bryan Cousins (as regular trainer Kim Prentice is on a Stay In Proceedings) Soho Tribeca has the grand record of 50 starts for 19 wins 16 seconds and 5 thirds for $882,613 in earnings. Soho Tribeca is the fourth foal and fourth winner from the outstanding mare Pixel Perfect by Art Major from the Fake Left mare Amarillen. Besides Soho Tribeca, Pixel Perfect is the dam of the Mach Three geldings Perfect Mach 14 wins ($125,338) and Birdy Mach 22 wins ($206,221), as well as the exceptional and fast young mare Carlas Pixel 12 wins 1:51.9 ($141,470). Pixel Perfect four foals are all racing at the moment and are all recent winners but none bigger than Soho Tribeca. Soho Tribeca

Not even drawing the despised outside barrier at No. 9 has dented the confidence of the remarkable, high-achieving and record-breaking harness racing duo of champion trainer Gary Hall Snr and his son, superstar reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, who are pinning their faith in star five-year-old Chicago Bull in the $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “I’m still pretty confident, despite the draw,” said Hall Jnr who won the Group 1 WA Pacing Cup with Chicago Bull 12 months ago to give him his seventh success in the State’s premier pacing event. Hall Snr, aiming for an unprecedented eighth consecutive victory in the Pacing Cup and his 12th in the past 16 years, conceded that Chicago Bull faced an acid test from the outside barrier. However, he declared that Chicago Bull was at his peak and should prove very hard to beat. He said that the barrier draw had thrown the big race, to be run over the marathon trip of 2936m, into the melting pot. “All the favoured horses will have to do some work,” he said. “But I still think that Chicago Bull will be the one to beat. He has pulled up in fantastic shape after his third in last week’s Fremantle Cup.” Hall Snr also has an outstanding second string in Friday night’s Cup in the evergreen eight-year-old My Hard Copy, who thundered home to snatch victory from Lazarus and Chicago Bull in last week’s 2536m Fremantle Cup. My Hard Copy was driven by Hall’s son Clint, who was also in the sulky when My Hard Copy flew home to win successive Pacing Cups in 2015 and 2016. Clint Hall also drove Hokonui Ben to victory in the 2014 Cup. Another win by My Hard Copy following last week’s Fremantle Cup victory would help to heal the disappointment of owners Steve Chapman, his wife Tina and their daughter Danielle, who were dismayed last year when their outstanding young pacers El Barcelona (15 starts, five wins, seven placings and stakes of $66,300) and The Pima Indian (nine starts for six wins, one placing and $28,359) died.   The Chapmans also were resigned 18 months ago that My Hard Copy’s career had ended after he was unplaced in the Miracle Mile at Menangle in February that year and subsequently suffered a serious concussion injury to a foreleg. This required intricate surgery and kept him out of action for 13 months. He has made a full recovery and is racing in the best form of his career of 80 starts for 24 wins, 22 placings and earnings of $1,203,550. My Hard Copy, a noted sit-sprinter, will start from the inside of the back line and Clint Hall is sure to give the stallion a reasonably soft run before aiming to get him off the pegs and into a position to unwind a characteristic sizzling finishing burst. Hall Jnr said that drawing the outside barrier with Chicago Bull was a cruel blow. “But with the scratching of Ultimate Machete and Lazarus we’re in with a big chance,” he said. “That’s tragic for the race, but good for everyone else, I suppose.” “Chicago Bull was mighty last week in the Fremantle Cup and I consider it was his career-best run. He did something (racing in the breeze) that he’s not really accustomed to and finished a half-length from the winner. He’s flying at the moment and is a better and more mature horse than he was 12 months ago when he won the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups.” Hall said that it was extremely difficult to predict how the race would be run and which horse would lead and who would be in the breeze. “If there is plenty of speed on early it will help Chicago Bull,” he said. Kim Prentice, who will drive Soho Tribeca, conceded that drawing out wide at barrier eight had not enhanced the five-year-old’s prospects. But he said that the stallion had worked in fine style on Tuesday morning and was primed to run a big race on Friday night. “There is a fair bit of speed on the front line and they’re all likely to come out in a bid to find a spot,” he said. “We’ll definitely be having a look out of the gate (echoing the sentiments of owner Rob Watson, who said that going back at the start would be suicidal). “I think that trying to zap them would be silly, but I wouldn’t mind the front if it is available, or the breeze if that is available. It is an advantage drawing inside Chicago Bull. The horse who gets the most luck and with the best run will win.” “If we had My Hard Copy’s run in the Fremantle Cup last week and were able to pull out when we wanted to, Soho Tribeca would have finished better than fifth. I tried to go outside of Clint (My Hard Copy), but when he came out my horse threw his head in the air and lost a couple of lengths.” “Soho Tribeca was doing his best work on the line and was still taking ground off the leaders. Hopefully, we won’t be off the track over the final 400m.” Soho Tribeca relishes long-distance events and he was most impressive in the Pacing Cup 12 months ago when he started from the outside of the back line and was tenth in the middle stages before sustaining powerful three-wide burst over the final 1050m to finish third, a half-length behind the winner Chicago Bull. In last year’s Cup Chicago Bull started out wide at barrier eight and was last after a lap before Hall Jnr dashed him forward and into the breeze (outside the pacemaker Beaudiene Boaz). Chicago Bull sped over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 28.3sec. and hit the front 250m from the finish. Chris Lewis, who has made more appearances (35) in a Pacing Cup than any other driver, has won the big race five times with Village Kid (1986, 1988 and 198), Hilarion Star (1994) and Saab (1999) and he is confident that the Ross Olivieri trained Motu Premier is capable of finishing in the first three from his favourable No. 2 barrier. “Motu Premier is not impossible and is definitely in the mix,” Lewis said. “He can definitely run 1-2-3, given the right run. He doesn’t have exceptional gate speed and the aim is to stay in contact with the leaders, as close as we can.” Motu Premier was a 100/1 chance when he started from the outside of the back line in last week’s Fremantle Cup. He raced on the pegs at the rear and was hampered for room in the last lap when tenth behind My Hard Copy.  He impressed the previous week when he started from barrier eight and was eighth at the bell before finishing with a powerful burst to be second to Lazarus over 2536m. “It was a very good run,” Lewis said. “He can sprint home extremely good and I think you saw that in a 2130m heat of the Inters when he came from eighth at the bell to finish fourth behind Lennytheshark, with the final quarters off the front in 27.3sec. and 26.8sec. ”Forget about his run last week when he was held up. He had a bit there to give.”  Trainer Michael Brennan and driver Michael Grantham are delighted that The Bucket List will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. “He’s got good gate speed and will come out in a bid for the lead,” Grantham said. “And from there I will just assess our options.” The Skye Bond trained Galactic Star is favourably drawn at barrier three and should be prominent. He possesses sparkling gate speed, but Ryan Warwick may opt to take a sit with the five-year-old, with part-owner Rob Gartrell saying at the barrier draw that “three back on the fence will be good for him and he is certainly a place chance. Champion New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon had to withdraw star pacers Lazarus and Ultimate Machete, but he has hopes with his millionaire performer, six-year-old Have Faith In Me, who will start from the No. 4 barrier. Have Faith In me has been unplaced at four of his five starts in his current campaign in Perth, but he impressed greatly three starts ago when he covered extra ground and finished with great determination to be a half-length second to stablemate Lazarus in a 2536m heat of the Inter Dominion championship. Have Faith In Me won the Great Northern Derby at Alexandra Park and the New Zealand Derby at Addington in March 2015 before he gave further proof of his great ability and staying prowess when he won the 3200m Group 1 Auckland Cup as a four-year-old, beating Hughie Green and Smolda, with a last 800m in 55.7sec. and a final 400m in 26.6sec. Purdon could well make an attempt to set the pace with Have Faith In Me. Failing that, Purdon could be well satisfied to sit in the breeze and dictate the tempo of the Cup. Ken Casellas

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have underlined the difficulty in finding a winner on Friday night’s WA Pacing Cup harness racing card with a variety of best bets. Leading tipster Stuart Lowe and TABradio’s Matt Young believe the Mike Reed-trained Bechers Brook can salute. “Bechers Brook dead-heated for second when narrowly beaten last start,” Lowe said. “Won three of previous four starts. Ideally drawn here and is the one to beat.” Young agrees with Lowe’s prediction. “Bechers Brook has been very impressive since returning, great draw and looks the best on the card,” Young said. The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and veteran tipster Bill Brindley  are fans of Americanbootscoota. Havercroft spoke for him and Brindley when he said Americanbootscoota would appreciate the drop in class in the second race. “Americanbootscoota should relish a massive class drop when contesting a heat of the Nights Of Thunder this Friday,” Havercroft said. “His last effort was an eighth behind Lazarus when starting at $165.80, but he will likely jump an odds-on favourite for this assignment.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning believes Bad Round can keep his winning run going. “Bad Round has drawn ideally at barrier two and looks set to complete a winning hat-trick for trainer Debbie Padberg, who has been enjoying a run of run of success lately,” Manning said. “Reinsman Shannon Suvaljko, a prolific winner again this season, seems certain to drive him aggressively and he should be hard to catch.” Longshot king Pat Harding is keen on Chicago Bull making it back-to-back wins in the cup.“I think this is going to be a pretty tough night at GP on Friday,” Harding said. “The highlight will be the Pacing Cup and I believe Chicago Bull can make up for his recent placings with a good win in this event. Barrier nine won't worry him because of the 2936 metre race distance. Hall Jr is pretty good at judging pace over the longer distances and I expect Chicago Bull to return to his winning form.” GPTV’s Ken Casellas has settled on Three Blind Mice as his star bet. “Seven-year-old Three Blind Mice is racing with youthful enthusiasm and he has the speed and strength to overcome the awkward No. 5 barrier and win on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He has been freshened up since he led and scored an easy victory over Ohoka Darcy and Johnny Disco four Fridays ago.” Guild president Wayne Currall has opted for Kerrin Joseph to get the chocolates. “Kerrin Joseph has been consistent of late from unfavourable barriers,” Currall said. “Champion reinsman Chris Lewis is expected to take advantage of his rails draw and attempt an all-the-way victory. Will prove mighty hard to roll in front.” VALUE BETS Stuart: My value bet is Have Faith In Me, who became Australasia’s fastest ever pacer when he won the 2016 Miracle Mile in 1.47.5. His best run in WA was three starts ago when he went down by a long neck to Lazarus, who won in track record time. Nicely drawn and should go close. Matt: Jaxon Fella comes up with the good draw and looks a big chance to lead and run a race at each-way odds. Ryan: Bettors Fire should get an economical run and could surprise in a Pacing Cup robbed of the two New Zealand superstars, Lazarus and Ultimate Machete. Bill: Raffaello and Glow Bright are my two best outsiders. Ernie: Tommy Be Good has not been racing up to his best lately and is capable of improvement. His opposition is strong, but reinsman Aiden De Campo should be able to position him prominently. Pat: Raffaello is on the inside of the back line and has certainly been knocking on the door. With Morgan Woodley aboard should give punters a good sight. A good each-way bet. Ken: Nifty sit-sprinter Real Zeal is likely to settle well back after starting from barrier six. But he looks capable of unwinding a spirited finishing burst. Wayne: Wolowitz has been out of the winners’ list for almost four years. But he’s drawn to run a cheeky race here. His best would just about win this. To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Good punting. Wayne Currall

Champion Western Australian harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis has tasted WA Pacing Cup success five times in his 34 starts - he rates this year's prospect, Motu Premier, a solid chance. Listen to what he says about his prospects in this years $450,000 Cup.

The remarkable run continues. Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall has won his 11th TABTOUCH WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park after pint-sized pacer Chicago Bull sat without cover for the bulk of 2936m event to defeat John Of Arc and Soho Tribeca. Amazingly, the Hall of Fame horseman has now won the past seven editions. Chicago Bull now joins The Falcon Strike (x3), Tealsby Karita, Im Themightyquinn (x3), Hokonui Ben and My Hard Copy (x2) as Hall trained WA Pacing Cup winners. The victory provides winning reinsman Gary Hall Jnr with his 7th Cup winner and he now joins legendary horseman Phil Coulson as the most successful driver in the events history. Bettors Fire, considered by many as a main challenger was declared a late scratching earlier in the day which forced massive changes to speed maps. Taken back at the start from his wide draw, Chicago Bull was allowed to settle at the rear of the field while the classy mare Major Reality set the early temp before being joined by Beaudiene Boaz. Soon after, Beaudiene Boaz fired up and started to over race which forced driver Clint Hall to challenge for the lead. The lead time was covered in 98.1 seconds. With a moderate speed being set by Beaudiene Boaz, Hall Jnr pounced on the opportunity to make his move and sent Chicago Bull three wide before parking outside his stablemate. The first half of the final mile was covered in 29.5 and 30.4 seconds. Despite racing without cover, Chicago Bull was able to control the race outside the leader. Soho Tribeca pulled three wide at the 1000m point and took up the fight to the Hall stablemates who continued to control the speed. The third quarter was clocked in 27.9 seconds. Racing off the back straight, Chicago Bull raced past Beaudiene Boaz while Soho Tribeca continued to chase strongly. In the straight, Hall Jnr urged Chicago Bull and the gritty four-year-old dug deep and held the fast finishing John Of Arc while Soho Tribeca fought tenaciously for third.  The last quarter was posted in 28.3 seconds. The overall time was 3:34.2 which gives the winner a mile rate of 1:57.4. The victory completes a sweep of the Fremantle/WA Pacing Cups double and Chicago Bull becomes the first pacer since the incomparable Im Themightyquinn (2102) to complete the double in the same season while he joins The Falcon Strike to win the Cups double as four-year-olds.  “He’s a great little horse, his versatility is so good and that makes him such a great racehorse. I made the move once they backed off and I knew that Beaudiene Boaz worked hard early, I was fairly confident once I got outside the leader.” Winning driver Gary Hall Jnr declared. Following four legs of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit this season, Chicago Bull joins Lazarus and Dream About Me on 100 points while Inter Dominion winner and New Zealand Cup placegetter Smolda leads the way with 120 points. Interestingly, the Grand Circuit takes on a refreshing look with youth given that Lazarus, Dream About Me and Chicago Bull are all four-year-olds. The next leg of the APG Grand Circuit is the $400,000 Eynesbury Victoria Cup at TABCORP Park, Melton on January 28. Chris Barsby

The New Zealand bred harness racing four-year-old, the Bettor's Delight gelding Chicago Bull, proved to be one of Australia's best pacers tonight in taking out the $450,000 Tabtouch WA Pacing Cup run over 2936 metres, on the half-mile Gloucester Park track in Perth, Western Australia. The late scratching of Bettors Fire left a field of 11 going to the post. Nine of the 11 pacers were New Zealand bred. The only mare in the race Major Reality led early with not much pace on until the Hall team came looking first with Beaudiene Boaz who took the lead with Cyamach sitting parked out then Chicago Bull with Gary Hall in the sulky came around the field to sit parked out to give the Hall team a three pronged attack in front with a round and a half to go. Joan Of Arc (Courage Under Fire) had an easy trip following Major Reality in the trail early and then three back before flashing home to get second with Soho Tribeca (American Ideal) holding on for third after making a big run with a round to go to sit parked out three wide. Chicago Bull, regarded as one of the smallest pacers in commision, barely 14 hands high, has now taken his record to 30 starts, 18 wins, four seconds and four thirds for $871,329 in stakes. The gross time of the race was 3.34.2 with a mile rate of 1:57.4. Amazingly the trainer Gary Hall senior has now won eleven WA Pacing Cups with the last seven of those in a row. Harnesslink Media

Oldbury harness racing horseman Kim Prentice knows what’s needed to win a TABtouch WA Pacing Cup after winning drives behind Baltic Eagle in 2003 and Im Themightyquinn in 2011--- and he gives brilliant four-year-old Soho Tribeca a great chance in the $450,000 Cup over 2936m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And this is despite the distinct disadvantage of drawing the outside (barrier three) on the back line. “Barrier 12 is not ideal, but over this long journey things could fall in our favour,” the 55-year-old Prentice said. “After the draw, it’s very hard to read how the race will be run and with Soho Tribeca sitting back and doing nothing could work in our favour. I was absolutely ecstatic at his run in the Fremantle Cup last Friday night when second to Chicago Bull. “And I’m even more happy this week. The son of American Ideal has trained on unbelievably well and I feel that he has benefitted immensely from last week’s run. I think he will run an incredible race. I hoppled him at Byford on Tuesday morning and he worked better than he has ever worked. His recovery has been brilliant and I’m extremely happy. ‘’Last week when Chicago Bull got the gap and put three lengths on us I thought I had no hope. I was just hoping he might be able to run second or third. But Soho Tribeca was hitting the line so well that 100 metres out I thought had him. Whether little Bully saw me coming and picked up the bit and got going again, I don’t know. “It’s an extra 400m in this week’s race and I know that my horse will run that on his ear.” Prentice declared that Soho Tribeca was, by far, the second-best pacer he has trained --- behind Baltic Eagle, who in 2003 won the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park and the Interdominion championship in Addington. “I honestly believe that Soho Tribeca has the potential to go all the way to the very, very top,” Prentice said. Last week Soho Tribeca was having his first start for four weeks --- since he raced three wide early, took the lead after 600m and went on to win the Golden Nugget Championship by just under two lengths from Nathans Courage and Chicago Bull. Prentice is convinced that the horse is even stronger and better now. Gloucester Park

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