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It should be a wonderful night for punters at Gloucester Park on Friday night - if the best bets from the members of the WA Trotting Media Guild all salute. Seven Guild members have settled on seven different star bets for the 10-event card at Australia’s best harness racing venue. Longshot guru Pat Harding is, uncharacteristically, playing it safer than most by declaring odds-on favourite Wildwest. “Notwithstanding the rain, we can expect another sizzling performance from Wildwest in race three,” Harding said. “I have made him my best bet again and barrier 11 is not likely to be a problem over the 2536 metre journey. This is a most exciting horse with a brilliant future.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on Handsandwheels from the Andrew De Campo yard. “Handsandwheels, nearing a $500,000 stake-earnings milestone, gets his chance to complete a winning hat-trick,” Manning said. “The five-year-old, part-owned by Perth Cup winning jockey Kyra Yuill, is racing better than ever after a slight lull which followed his 2017 WA Derby win. Trainer Andrew De Campo has him on target for the Fremantle Pacing Cup and WA Pacing Cup at Perth’s summer carnival. He has the impressive tally of 14 Gloucester Park wins.” RWWA’s racing communications co-ordinator Tim Walker has made the consistent Eloquent Mach his best. “You have to respect Major Trojan in this race, but I think his stablemate Eloquent Mach can find the front here and be super hard to beat,” Walker said. On-course announcer Ken Casellas believes The War Nurse can bounce back to winning form. “The Debra Lewis stable continues to shine and The War Nurse has bright prospects of giving the Hopeland trainer her 52nd winner of the season on Friday night,” Casellas said. “The four-year-old mare is versatile and driver Jocelyn Young will have options from the No. 5 barrier - either to make use of her sparkling gate speed or to restrain her and rely on a strong finishing burst. Punters should forgive The War Nurse’s fading eighth behind Carter Micheal over 1730m last Friday night on a rain-soaked track.” TABradio racecaller Hayden King is a fan of Mister Ardee, especially after drawing the pole for his assignment. “Mister Ardee gets his best chance to break through here,” King said. “He has drawn the pole and should lead throughout for a deserved win.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft believes Just Rockon Bye can win first-up from a spell. “Just Rockon Bye didn’t fire in her first preparation for Gary Hall, but her 19 career wins suggest she has ability,” Havercroft said. “There isn’t a lot drawn to her inside and her main rivals will have to get around her to win.” Guild president Wayne Currall rounds out the seven individual star bets by opting for Beltane in race nine. “Beltane has returned to somewhere near his best with two wins and two placings from his last four starts,” Currall said. “Trainer/driver Nathan Turvey has options from his backline draw and should be able to position his charge in a prominent position to strike when the whips are cracking.” VALUE BETS PAT: I think the Justin Prentice-trained Aristocratic Star with Gary Hall Jr aboard can bring home the bacon. It's only a small field and he should give punters some joy at the end of the night. ERNIE: Rock Me Over has  not won in his past 22 starts, but looks ready to break the drought. He has impressed when a Gloucester Park placegetter at his past four starts for trainer Matthew Scott, who took over the gelding’s preparation early this year. TIM: Smoldering Ashes is working up to a win. Whether he has the pace to match The War Nurse time will tell, but I think he’s ready to win. KEN: The redoubtable Im Soxy in race six, in which he is favourably drawn at barrier two, is nearing another win. He continues to race with commendable zest and is sure to fight out the finish. HAYDEN: Looks Official has been most impressive at her last two appearances. She is capable of causing a real blowout against these top fillies. RYAN: Vincenzo Perrugia caught the eye last time out and is drawn to lead. That was Emily Suvaljko’s first drive on him and she stays on this week. WAYNE: Most punters will be looking to what horse can run second behind Wildwest. I think that horse could be Presidentmach from his favourable draw in gate two. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

A change in a training routine has helped to revitalise Crystal Sparkles, who has charged home to win at her past two starts after a lean spell and a losing sequence of eight. Eight-time premiership trainer in WA, Ross Olivieri said that racing the five-year-old mare three times in eight days early this month had been a factor in her return to top form. “But I also consider that a change in training at home has helped,” he said. “I’m not hoppling her now, and she just gallops. She’s a lot sharper now since we’ve started galloping her. And she should be capable of contesting feature races for mares, particularly if local good mares continue to be sold to America.” Crystal Sparkles surged home from sixth (three wide) at the bell to win from Amelias Courage over 2130m in a group 3 event for mares last Friday night a week after she went five wide on the home turn and flashed home from eighth at the 100m to get up and win from Rock Me Over over 2130m. “She is a strong well-bred mare and I’m sure that she’ll be there at the finish of this week’s race,” Olivieri said. Crystal Sparkles will start from barrier eight with Chris Voak in the sulky and her chief rivals could be the Mike Reed-trained Maczaffair and Just Rockon Bye, who will be resuming after a five-month absence for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr.       Maczaffair is the class runner of the field and has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of the outside barrier (No. 9). The five-year-old has a losing sequence of 11 and although she has been placed at her past three outings (second to Purest Silk, third to Come Dance With Me) and second to Parisian Partygirl) those efforts have been disappointing. “She has been disappointing at her past few starts,” Reed admitted. “But this is a massive drop in class for her, and she’ll be running on at the finish. She’s had a few problems, and hopefully, we’ve ironed them out. She must be a big chance, considering she ran third in the last Pacing Cup.”  Serpentine trainer Matt Scott advised punters to overlook Cut Above’s 11th behind Crystal Sparkles last Friday night and they should consider the four-year as a sound place prospect as the only runner on the back line. “On paper, he run last week looks terrible,” Scott said. “Shannon (Suvaljko) didn’t pull the ear plugs or blinds because Cut Above did not handle the mud. Two weeks again Cut Above beat Clarenden Hustler by three lengths on the track. They went 3min. 2sec. at Jandakot which is a pretty good time for there at this time of the year. No. 10 is a good draw and she is an opportunist.”   Ken Casellas

Astute Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed is confident that New Zealand-bred two-year-old Pocket The Cash is poised to end a sequence of five minor placings by winning the final event, the Chevron City To Surf For Activ Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pocket The Cash, to be driven by Reed’s son Mark, will start from the No. 2 barrier in the 2130m event and the plan would be to make use of the gelding’s good gate speed.  “We will be going forward,” Mike Reed said. “I think that we’ve got to go forward to keep the main dangers outside of us or behind us.” “I was very impressed with Pocket The Cash’s run last Friday night (when a fast-finishing third to smart fillies Remit Me Whitby and Star Fromthepalace). He went to the line really good and if he had been able to get clear earlier I think he would have won. But I’m not taking anything away from the winner, who was very good. “I think that Pocket The Cash can turn the tables on the fillies. He has pulled up well and I expect him to run a good race. He’s just got better and better and better.” In last week’s race Pocket The Cash raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs. He was badly blocked for a clear passage until the final 120m and was still hampered for room in the late stages. The Debra Lewis-trained Remit Me Whitby (Jocelyn Young) impressed with her stylish all-the-way win and should fight out the finish this week after starting from barrier four. The Peter Anderson-trained Star Fromthepalace (Deni Roberts) cannot be underestimated and is poised for a strong showing, even from barrier six. She charged home from last when second to Remit Me Whitby last week. Dissertation, a Well Said gelding trained by Craig Abercromby, will start from barrier five with Chris Lewis in the sulky and will be attempting to stretch his winning sequence to four after easy victories at Northam and Pinjarra (twice). Adding considerable interest to the race will be the debut of the Alta Engen, an Alta Christiano gelding trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo. Alta Engen is out of the Million To One mare Its Karma, who won six times from 46 starts and is a half-brother to Baylan Jett, who has raced 74 times for 11 wins, 24 placings and $103,676 in prizemoney. Reinsman Aiden de Campo is upbeat about the prospects of Alta Engen, who finished a good second to the smart youngster Longreach Bay (a half-brother to the brilliant Cott Beach) in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. The winner rated 1.57.8, with final quarters in 28.5sec. and 28.9sec. “We sat three back on the pegs in the trial,” de Campo said. “I pulled him out at the 500m and he ran the leader (Longreach Bay) to about a half-length. “Alta Engen is quite a big horse who has taken time to mature. He’s quite docile and every time we take him to the track he keeps improving. He’s got gate speed and from barrier one I’ll be trying to hold the front with him.” The father-son de Campo combination also has good winning prospects with American Delight (race one) and Handsandwheels (race 6). American Delight, a winner at five of her 11 starts, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six in the 2130m event but has the ability to overcome that disadvantage. She has won at her past two outings, scoring by two lengths over 2130m at Gloucester Park and then finishing solidly from sixth at the bell to win narrowly from While They Pray over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday week. “Her form is really good,” said Aiden de Campo. “From barrier six we’ll probably have to press forward with her and if she happens to find the front, she’ll take a fair bit of beating. However, she’s versatile and can do a few different things.” Countess Grace and Mandy Joan are two of American Delight’s main dangers. But they have drawn out wide, at barriers seven and eight, respectively. Countess Grace set the pace and was an easy winner for the Reed stable at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Handsandwheels is in top form and has won narrowly, but impressively at his past two starts at Gloucester Park, over 1730m at a 1.53.9 rate and 2130m (1.55.6). He will start from barrier four over 2130m on Friday night and his clash with Im Soxy, Vampiro, El Jacko, King of Swing and Vultan Tin will be a highlight of the ten-event program. Fast beginners Im Soxy (barrier two) and Thereugo (three) have drawn inside of Handsandwheels and the battle for early supremacy will be most interesting. The Brian Clemens-trained Im Soxy will be handled by Shannon Suvaljko and Mark Reed has been engaged to drive the Sue Wiscombe-trained Thereugo for the first time. The speedy Thereugo last appeared three weeks ago when he led from barrier seven and finished a close third behind Handsandwheels and Im Soxy at a 1.53.9 rate over 1730m.  “It will be interesting to see what Thereugo does,” said de Campo. “They might cross to the front and take a trail. Handsandwheels sat outside Thereugo and beat him last start over a mile (1730m) and you would think that he couldn’t lead over 2130m and beat us. I’ll play it by ear. In an ideal world Thereugo crosses to the front and hands up to us. But it’s never that easy; we’ve got to come out and find a forward position and play it by ear.”   Ken Casellas

Serpentine trainer Matt Scott was thrilled with Clarenden Hustler’s first-up effort last week and is setting the chestnut the task of scoring an all-the-way victory in the 1730m On Track With Enda Brady Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Clarenden Hustler will start from the No. 6 barrier on the front line and Scott declared: “We’ll be looking to go handlebars down this week. He’s got good gate speed and our aim will be to go forward, definitely. He will come out hard, he races well in front and 1730m is his pet distance.” Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr handled the South Australian-bred Clarenden Hustler for the first time when the gelding resumed after a spell in a 1730m event last Friday night. Clarenden Hustler started from the outside of the back line and raced in ninth position before starting a three-wide move 650m from home. He sustained a strong burst to finish fifth behind Carter Micheal. “We were rapt with the run,” said Scott who is enjoying a successful season with 62 winners and 103 placegetters. “He will be improved by the run.” In what should prove to be a keen betting race, One Off Delight, Waimac Attack, Michael Joseph and Roman Aviator are sure to be strongly supported. One Off Delight, trained by Debra Lewis, is a smart frontrunner and Chris Lewis is sure to attempt to make every post a winner from the No. 3 barrier. One Off Delight was an easy all-the-way winner over 2130m two starts ago before he galloped in a stand, raced at the rear and finished tenth behind Eloquent Mach last Friday night. Waimac Attack bounced back to his best form last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 250m from home and winning from Rock Me Over over 1730m last week. Michael Joseph is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven but has the ability to overcome this disadvantage. Her fought on from eighth at the bell to finish fifth behind Convert Denario last Friday night. Four-year-old Roman Aviator raced in the one-out, one-back position when a solid fourth in that event.   Ken Casellas

Smart pacer Liam Neil has ended a frustrating run of defeats, taking out last night’s Cowden Insurance Brokers Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park. The four-year-old was winless from his past six starts, but capitalised on a class drop to return to the winners circle. Driver Emily Suvaljko found the front comfortably from barrier two with Liam Neil and dictated the race from there. It got quite tight for the David Thompson-trained Liam Neil over the concluding stages as Free To Air emerged from the chasing pack, but he held on to win by a half-head and ran home in 56.9. Thompson will be hoping for another strong showing from three-year-old Mandy Joan when she lines up in the 3YO Fillies Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Art Major filly will line up from barrier eight on Friday night, as she looks to continue her solid winter campaign. Thompson said he was confident Mandy Joan would bounce back to her best form, after she was unplaced as favourite at her most recent start. “She’s going really well,” Thompson told GPTV Powered By RWWA. “Things didn’t go right (last start) and she only went okay, but hopefully we can get a bit more luck this time. “Normally we have been going back, then going forward. “Having a look here, maybe we might just work forward straight away. “That’s what first came to mind because she will probably only go around this week, maybe next week, then she will be going to the paddock.” Last start winners American Delight and Countess Grace look set to provide strong opposition for Mandy Joan on Friday night. Meanwhile, Eloquent Mach and Major Trojan are set for an enthralling battle once again in Friday night’s $50,000 Binshaw Pace (2130m). Eloquent Mach defeated Major Trojan three times in the autumn, before Major Trojan turned the tables in the WA Derby. Stuart McDonald teams up with Eloquent Mach from barrier two, while Major Trojan will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr from barrier 10.   Tim Walker

Trainer Ross Olivieri will give improving mare Crystal Sparkles a chance in mares Free-For-All company at Gloucester Park this Friday night, following her win in the WASBA Four and Five-Year-Old Pace (2130m) last Friday. The Rocknroll Hanover mare scored a dominant 4m win in the $30,000 event, overpowering Amelias Courage in the concluding stages. It was Crystal Sparkles best win in WA, having come across from South Australia in May. Since that time, she has gone on to score three wins from 12 starts for Olivieri. Olivieri said the five-year-old, a winner at 20 of 51 career starts, was starting to show her best in WA. “She had a very good record when she came over,” he told TABradio. “She showed a little glimpse of it when she got here.” Olivieri said Crystal Sparkles did have to overcome a few setbacks to recapture her winning form. “In hindsight she might have got a virus and we didn’t recognise it,” he said. “She was unhappy and didn’t want to work or didn’t want to do anything. “Now she’s a happy camper. “Time has helped her and it looks like she’s back to her very best.” Olivieri has nominated her for a fillies and mares Free-For-All this Friday night, which also features Maczaffair and Infinite Symbol. Olivieri said he expected Crystal Sparkles to be competitive in stepping up in grade and would find out if she could make the grade going towards the summer carnival. “Our open mares class have been decimated by sales to America,” he said. “Some of the good mares have been retired, turned out or sold. “It leaves that class a little short on class but that’s of advantage to her. “I’m looking forward to Friday night as a bit of a test for her.” Olivieri also said tough two-year-old Double Expresso was four weeks away from returning to work, having spent the past six weeks in the paddock.   Tim Walker

Impressive three-year-old Eloquent Mach is continuing to surprise reinsman Stuart McDonald, following his win in the Happy 40th Sarah Remta Pace (2503m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Gary Hall Snr-trained Eloquent Mach made it three wins from has many starts this campaign, all of which were standing start events and enhanced his credentials for the feature four-year-old races later this year in doing so. The son of Mach Three worked his way to the breeze outside Atmospherical approaching the bell and wore down his more seasoned opponent over the closing stages. McDonald said Eloquent Mach was still learning the caper and had taken well to standing start events. “He’s getting the standing start caper down pretty well now,” he told TABradio. “It was a good run to come off 20m on a rain soaked track. “The other horse got close, but he never looks impressive and he never kicks away unless he’s made to. “He’s four in a few weeks, but he’s still really only a three-year-old. “He’s very immature and a bit silly.” McDonald was also full of praise for the gelding’s toughness, having won the Marathon (3309m) a week earlier. Eloquent Mach’s stablemates Wildwest and Major Trojan have also established themselves as live chances for the four-year-old features. Major Trojan won the WA Derby earlier this year and is unbeaten in two starts back this campaign, while Wildwest has won each of his three starts for Hall Snr. McDonald said he felt Eloquent Mach wasn’t quite to his more celebrated stablemates right now, but had the qualities of a horse that could elevate himself to that level. “I don’t think he’s up to those two and I think they are both better than him,” he said. “He does nothing wrong and he just keeps winning. “He just does what you ask him to do. “Ability wise, he has got to be there.” Eloquent Mach and Major Trojan have both been nominated this week’s $50,000 Binshaw Pace at Gloucester Park.   Tim Walker

It’s a mixed bag of best bets from members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and longshot king Pat Harding believe talented three-year-old gelding Wildwest will keep his unbeaten record intact when he steps out in race nine. “Wildwest has won by significant margins at each of his three starts and appears to have potential that could make him the next stable star at trainer Gary Hall’s property,” Manning said. “Imported from New Zealand after scoring by almost 40m last May, he recorded a WA debut victory by more than 35m at Pinjarra last month. He was not extended in a 9.5m win at his first Gloucester Park appearance. He is aimed at the Golden Nugget, but seems certain to also be entered in the Fremantle Pacing Cup and WA Pacing Cup.” Harding agrees with Manning. “There is no doubt that Gary Hall has yet another outstanding horse in his stable in Wildwest and despite the wide barrier I believe he can notch up yet another impressive win,” Harding said. Leading tipster Matt Young is keen on the enigmatic King Of Swing in the opening event. “King Of Swing is a beast in front and he has drawn to lead,” Young said. “He should be winning by as far as Gary Hall Jr feels like.” TABradio’s racecaller Hayden King thinks punters should keep their powder dry until the last race. “Remit Me Whitby looks set for an all-the-way victory, almost identical to Tuesday,” King said. “She has improved out of sight to be one of our topline two-year-olds.” On-course announcer Ken Casellas has been impressed with Eloquent Mach’s form. “Three-year-old Eloquent Mach has returned after a spell in wonderful form and he looks set to complete a hat-trick by overcoming a 20-metre handicap on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He has been most impressive in winning stands over 2096m and 3309m on the past two Friday nights after resuming racing for champion trainer Gary Hall following a four-month absence.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is a fan of Our Corelli in the fourth race. “Our Corelli has his best draw since transferring to the Debra Lewis stable and looks poised to return to winning form,” Havercroft said. “In April he last drew barrier one, while in the care of Justin Prentice, and led all of the way for a comfortable victory.” Guild president Wayne Currall believes the consistent Dominate The Dojo can finally break through for a well-deserved victory. “This speed machine from the Kevin Keys stable has run four seconds and two thirds from his last six outings,” Currall said. “His last win was over the sprint trip in May when he led all the way in a mile rate of 1.55.7. He’s drawn out wide but champion reinsman Chris Lewis will use his abundant pace off the arm to cross the field. From the top he’s the horse they all have to beat.” VALUE BETS ERNIE: Bechers Brook has a five-run losing sequence, but would not surprise if he displayed the form which delivered 12 wins in his first 24 races. A winner of six Gloucester Park events, he has this week drawn better than when fourth to Major Trojan last Friday night. PAT: I think the August Cup is a wide open affair but I have a feeling that No. 9 Vultan Tin can get the job done. With the race over 2536 metres, I don't think the wide barrier will affect his chances. MATT: Bad Round has been racing well without much luck, looks to be some pace on over the mile and Shannon Suvaljko can weave some magic at double-figure odds. HAYDEN: Hot Fraternity has multiple avenues from which he can achieve victory. This versatility may prove vital in a tactical race. KEN: She Could Be Good has charged home from the rear to be placed at her past two outings and will be mighty hard to beat this week. RYAN: From a backline draw, Cyber Storm went to the line hard held on debut and should have finished closer than fourth. Drawn the pole this week, he can make his own luck if he leads. WAYNE: Last-start winner Free To Air should get a cosy run behind likely leader Whoswhointhezoo and can run a race at each-way odds. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

Talented four-year-old King of Swing has a losing sequence of seven and has managed just one placing (a third behind Chicago Bull and Vultan Tin six starts ago, on May 31) but champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has declared him a good thing to win the opening event, the 2130m On Track With Enda Brady Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His past five outings have resulted in a sixth, an eighth, a ninth, a tenth and an 11th placing. But he certainly looks the winner this week from the favourable No. 2 barrier on the front line. “He just wins,” declared a confident Hall. “He will be leading and he and Wildwest are my best prospects at the meeting. Both will be short, and both should be winning.” Last Friday night, King of Swing, the WA Derby winner in April 2018, was a 3/1 chance from the inside of the back line in a 1730m sprint at Gloucester Park. He raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, and was hopelessly blocked for a run, finishing 11th behind Bettor Reward. “There were a lot of unlucky runners in that race and I never got to let King of Swing go at all,” Hall said. King of Swing, with earnings of $450,470 from 17 wins and seven placings from 37 starts, is one of five runners in Friday night’s race who is prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall Snr.            The other Hall runners are polemarker Mad Robber (Lauren Jones), Tuas Delight (Maddison Brown), Ideal One (Kyle Harper) and Speed Man (Stuart McDonald). Mad Robber should enjoy a perfect trail behind King of Swing and looks a strong place prospect, while Speed Man is capable of overcoming a back-line draw and figuring in the placings. Speed Man impressed last Friday night when he thundered home from last at the bell to win easily by five lengths from Bob Wheel. That was the four-year-old’s 12th win from 36 starts. “Speed Man has had a few niggling problems, but he’s definitely above average in our stable,” said Hall Jnr. “I’ve been impressed with his past few runs. No one thinks he’s much good, but he deserves respect.” Hall spoke in glowing terms about New Zealand-bred three-year-old Wildwest, who is unbeaten after three starts. He will begin from the outside barrier in a field of nine in the Westate Timber Floors Pace over 2130m and should prove too good for the opposition, including promising stablemate Highly Flammable, a stylish last-start Pinjarra winner, Beaudiene Western and Bettor Be Oscar. “I’ll settle Wildwest early and then move into it as we see fit,” Hall said. “Just with his speed, he could sit last and pull out at the 300m and win. But we probably won’t be doing that. I’d imagine he’ll beat Beaudiene Western again. Beaudiene Western’s form in New Zealand was good; he was able to stretch Major Trojan’s neck in one race over there.”      Small filly Remit Me Whitby warmed up for the Vale Jim Snooks Pace over 2130m in fine style with an emphatic victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Remit Me Whitby, trained by Debra Lewis, will be driven by Jocelyn Young, who guided the filly to an excellent win by more than two lengths over Star In Art on Tuesday night, when she set the pace and sprinted over the final two 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 27.6sec. Remit Me Whitby possesses good gate speed and her clash with the other filly in the race, the talented Star Fromthepalace, and smart youngsters Aristocratic Star, Marcotti, Bee Jays Boy and Pocket The Cash will be a highlight of the ten-event program.   Ken Casellas

Prominent trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi describes five-year-old stallion Major Pocket as pugnacious bully who does his own thing in races. And Cortopassi is full of confidence that the powerful brown pacer will emerge triumphant when he contests the Bridge Bar pace over the sprint trip of 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “This is a big drop in class for him and the times he’s been running have been phenomenal and he’s been doing a bit of work in running those times,” said Cortopassi who is enjoying a successful season in the sulky with 90 winners.    Major Pocket, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, is in splendid form and has the ability to overcome the awkward draw at barrier six and prove too strong and fast for his 11 rivals. He is overdue for a change of luck after being placed at his past four starts behind quality performers Saying Grace, Our Corelli, Simba Bromac and Major Trojan. He finished strongly from the one-out, one-back position to be an excellent second to this year’s WA Derby winner Major Trojan, who sped over the final quarters of the 2536m event in 28.8sec. and 27.6sec. last Friday night. “We tried early in this campaign to drive him quiet, but we failed,” Cortopassi said. “We switched him to stands (five in a row in April-May this year) to try to teach him to sit a little bit. “But he’s such a big headstrong horse that he just likes being the bully. Ray and I have come to the conclusion that he just likes being the bully. If you fight against him, he’s bigger and stronger than us and he goes to war with you. So, you’ve got to let him do what he wants, and that’s to roll. And he’s quite happy doing it. “Even last Friday night when we found Kristian’s helmet (Kristian Hawkins driving Hy Leexciting) all he wanted to do was to run over the top of him the whole way, even though we were rolling. He’s happy in front or in the breeze and running his type of race. He scooted home really well in 27.6sec. last week. “For a horse who has had the number of starts (45) he has had and has earned the stakemoney ($134,212) he’s won, he has done a fantastic job. “He has been mixing it with some very good horses and a run that caught a lot of attention was his second to Our Corelli. Now he’s back in a winnable race and he will be keen, especially over the mile. “He ran second at a midweek meeting, rating 1.53 after going five, four and then three deep and then sitting in the breeze. I’d love to be able to get to the front on Friday night. We will be going forward from barrier six and we won’t be taking any prisoners.” Major Pocket is the first foal out of Elena S, who earned $97,549 from nine wins and 20 placings from 59 starts. He has won 11 races after setting the pace in seven of them and working in the breeze in two others. This week he should prove too strong for some formidable opponents, including Shes Turbo Charged, Smoldering Ashes, Carter Micheal, Runaway Three, The War Nurse and Cut For An Ace. Shannon Suvaljko gives polemarker Shes Turbo Charged a good chance, with the Courtney Burch-trained mare capable of a bold effort from the inside barrier. “She has been running good races and she’s gone 1.54. She’s a good leader and we’ve been waiting for a barrier draw. This is the right race for her.” In the other 1730m event on the program Suvaljko will handle the Debbie Padberg-trained Bad Round, who will be fancied from the No. 1 barrier. Bad Round is a smart beginner and a good frontrunner. “I’ll be trying to hold up, but there is a chance he might get crossed,” Suvaljko said. Even if he is beaten out, Bad Round should fight out the finish after enjoying a perfect passage on the pegs behind the pacemaker. His main rivals loom as Hot Fraternity, Dominate The Dojo, Rock Me Over, Liam Neil and Waimac Attack.   Ken Casellas

Tough and speedy mare Amelias Courage will make her final Australian appearance when she contests the $30,000 WASBA Pace for four and five-year-old mares over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She has been sold to American interests and will do her future racing in the United States. Ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown would dearly love Amelias Courage to bow out as a winner and he is confident the Victorian-bred four-year-old will take plenty of beating. “If she pulls up well, this will be her last run here and she’ll be off to America,” Brown said. “She has been purchased and all she needs now is a veterinary clearance. “She will certainly appreciate the No. 1 barrier and returning to racing against her own sex. She has been racing in a lot better races than this. However, there are some handy types in this week’s event. “Her overall record is not impeccable, but it is extremely good. Forget about her latest run when she drew barrier eight in a good race, the John Higgins Memorial three weeks ago. The draw took her out of it. She went back and ran home okay (finishing eighth behind Convert Denario). “She can lead or breeze and has gone 1.55.2 in winning over 2130m in the breeze at Gloucester Park (beating Pavarotti in April 2018). She is tough and the plan on Friday night is to lead. We haven’t stoked this mare up for a long time. I think she can hold up and lead. “I don’t think that they (the connections of Salacious Gossip) will want to play the same tactics as last week (when Salacious Gossip began brilliantly from barrier five and recorded a blistering lead time of 34.9sec. before setting a brisk pace and fading to finish last behind Talkerup over 2130m). But if Salacious Gossip is driven the same way this week (from barrier four) my mare certainly has the toughness to shoulder her. “The main one I’m worried about is She Could be Good. She’s gone back to the Bond camp and if there is a lot of speed on, she could be too quick for us at the end. She has fast twitch and high speed. If anything is going to beat Amelias Courage, it will be something with a bit of high speed.” Amelias Courage has raced in mixed company at her past 11 starts and should appreciate racing against mares. Her most recent victory was six starts ago when she raced without cover before beating It Aint Royal at a 1.56.2 rate over 1684m at Pinjarra on June 10 this year. Brown said that Amelias Courage, who has had 57 starts for 12 wins, 17 seconds, six thirds and $128,260 in prizemoney, would be a strong and successful performer in sprint racing in America. “She has been a good horse for her owners here and now we’re at the stage where we’ve got six promising yearlings coming up. Basically, horses have to be well above average to be kept racing here after they turn four. So, we’ve been sticking to that plan and have been selling a few and have been moving on to the younger stock where the money is.” She Could Be Good will have many admirers, even from out wide at barrier No. 8. She had eight starts for three wins for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond between March and June 2017 before switching stables. She returned to the Bond camp about two months ago and after a first-up seventh after galloping in a stand at Pinjarra She Could Be Good has impressed with fast-finishing efforts at her next two starts. She surged home from eighth at the bell in a field of eight to finish an eye-catching third behind Pradas Ideal Dahling over 2130m last Friday week before finishing powerfully from 11th at the bell to be second to Talkerup over 2130m last week. Star reinsman Chris Lewis said that the Barry Howlett-trained mare Delightful Mandy (barrier seven) had sound prospects. She led and finished fifth behind Im Beta Than Gouda over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. “I’m not disappointed at all at her effort at Pinjarra,” Lewis said. “She got terrorized up the back when they’ve run 27sec. No horse will come back from a 27 quarter when you get crunched like that. She stuck it out quite well to finish where she did. Provided she hasn’t been hurt by that run I think she can run a very good race.” Apart from Amelias Courage, She Could Be Good and Delightful Mandy, fast-finishing last-start winners Crystal Sparkles and Nowuseemesmile and in-form runners Cut Above and Bettorgrinanbarit are sure to be supported in what should be wide open betting event. Ken Casellas

Our Corelli is the youngest and least experienced runner in the $25,000 August Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but champion reinsman Chris Lewis is bubbling with confidence about the four-year-old’s winning prospects. Lewis said he was delighted when Our Corelli, trained by his wife Debra and owned by their son Mark, drew the coveted No. 1 barrier. “We’ll definitely push out and we’ll hold up,” said Lewis, who added that he was impressed with the sparkling gate speed the New Zealand-bred gelding showed in a 2130m event last Friday night. Our Corelli was unable to cross the polemarker Convert Denario and after racing in the breeze in the early stages he raced in sixth position, one-out and two-back, before finishing a sound sixth behind Handsandwheels, who rated a smart 1.55.6. “The extra distance this week won’t hurt Our Corelli,” Lewis said. “Barrier one suits him and he’s definitely a winning chance. He seems to be bouncing off his runs pretty well.”     Our Corelli has raced beyond 2185m only once in his 27-start career. That was at his first start for Debra Lewis when he finished boldly from sixth at the bell to win from the favourite The Lightning Strike at a 1.57.6 rate over 2692m at Pinjarra on July 1 this year. The gelding boasts a splendid record for the Lewis stable --- seven starts in the space of 41 days for five wins and $53,949 in stakes. He is the second foal out of the Christian Cullen mare Reklaw, who was retired after two starts in New Zealand in October 2012 for a head second over 2600m at Timaru and a strong-finishing nose victory over 1950m at Addington. Our Corelli’s full-brother Rishi is still racing n Victoria where he has won nine times for Lance Justice after winning at three of his five starts in New Zealand.  Our Corelli and Rishi are closely related to Franco Encore, who earned $593,738 from 28 wins and 19 placings from 70 starts. Franco Encore won eight times in New Zealand and three times from four starts in Australia (including the $50,000 Queensland Derby and the $100,000 Australian Derby at Albion Park in July 1997).  The August Cup was first run in 1950 when Doug Booth drove Lily Girl to victory over Johnnie Robert and Gamble King. Lewis was successful in the 2012 August Cup when he brought the Andrew de Campo-trained Dasher VC with a surging burst from eighth in the middle stages to beat Cromac Johnny and Sneakyn Down Under. One of Our Corelli’s most serious rivals on Friday night is the Stephen Reed-trained Kiwi Legend, who will be driven by Mark Reed from the No. 2 barrier. Mark Reed has won the August Cup as a reinsman with Another Party (2000), Buck The Odds (2004) and Tricky Vic (2005) and Stephen Reed prepared Uppy Son for his win over Has The Answers in the 2013. A win by Kiwi Legend would come as a welcome present for Mark Reed, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Wednesday this week. Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has won the August Cup with Zakara (1991-92-93-94), Im Themightyquinn (2010), Northview Punter (2014) and Chicago Bull (2018). He will be represented in this year’s Cup by Herrick Roosevelt and Whozideawasthis. Hall’s son Gary (who will drive Herrick Roosevelt) has won the Easter Cup with Im Themightyquinn, Uppy Son, Northview Punter and Chicago Bull. Greg Bond, who prepares veteran Our Jimmy Johnstone (Bailey McDonough) and the talented duo of El Jacko (Dylan Egerton-Green) and Vampiro (Ryan Warwick) in partnership with his wife Skye, trained Mister Odds On when Colin Brown drove him to victory over Spirit of Shard and Fourmoore in the 2009 August Cup. El Jacko and Vampiro have drawn out wide but each is capable of a bold showing. The Phil Costello-trained Vultan Tin (Chris Voak) can never be left out of calculations, but the seven-year-old faces a stern test from the outside barrier (No. 9). Ken Casellas

It is with great sadness that we advise the passing of former President of the WATA and esteemed Life Member, Jim Snooks. Mr Snooks passed away at 5.00 pm on Tuesday 6th August at his home following a long illness. Elected a Member of the WATA in 1955, Jim Snooks first served on the Committee from 1977 until 1984. In 1986 he was re-elected to the Committee and appointed President in 1987 for a two-year term. Mr Snooks was awarded Life Membership in 1984. Gloucester Park Harness Racing extends its sincere sympathy to Jim’s wife Nena, his family and friends. In remembrance of his contribution to the harness racing industry the drivers in Race 5 tonight at Gloucester Park will be wearing black arm bands in his honour.   Gloucester Park

Talented young reinsman Bailey McDonough has given punters a good lead by choosing to drive Salacious Gossip ahead of Talkerup and Ctheballerina in the 2130m #Gottatalentau Now On Channel 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “From barrier five I think we’ll try to use her gate speed in a bid to lead,” he said. “I think she’s got some hope.” He said that there were excuses for her fifth behind Tajie Baby over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when she was restrained in the early stages and raced in ninth position in a field of 12 before starting a three-wide move approaching the bell. “She doesn’t handle it out wide, so that’s why I’m keen to use her early speed,” said McDonough, who has driven the WA-bred five-year-old mare to victory four times for his grandfather, Bunbury trainer Frank Bonnett. Talkerup, who was driven to an all-the-way victory at Gloucester Park a month ago, will be handled by Emily Suvaljko. Talkerup will start from the No. 4 barrier. Ctheballerina, a seven-year-old trained at Lowlands by Cheyenne King-Davies, will be driven by Kyle Harper from the coveted No. 1 barrier. However, she has been out of the winning list since leading and scoring over 2090m in Hobart in October 2017. She showed a glimpse of form over 1780m at Northam last Saturday night when she ran on gamely from four back on the pegs at the bell to finish third behind Amadeo. McDonough is looking forward to driving Hot Fraternity, a stablemate of Salacious Gossip, in the 2130m Sunday Night On Seven Pace. Hot Fraternity, a seven-year-old who has a record of 54 starts for nine wins and 21 placings, will be making her first appearance for 15 months when she starts from barrier three. “He’s coming back after a suspensory injury and after four recent trials I think he’s forward enough to at least run in the first three,” McDonough said. “I was pretty happy with his latest trial (a win by four lengths over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday week). He jumped to the front and just walked early before he ran on strongly over the final 400m in 27.7sec. “From gate three on Friday night we’ll use his gate speed and try to get to the front --- and then go from there.” McDonough will also drive the Tony Svilicich-trained pair of Four Starzzz Forsa and Vincenzo Peruggia, who are drawn out wide in races three and nine, respectively. Four Starzzz Forsa, who will start from barrier eight in the Rookie New On Channel 7 Pace, impressed McDonough when he drove the six-year-old for the first time last Friday night. From the No. 1 barrier the gelding trailed the pacemaker Simba Bromac and was hampered for room in the latter stages of the race before getting clear and finishing strongly to be a close third behind Simba Bromac and Major Pocket. “Barrier eight makes it very hard over a mile,” McDonough said. “Her went super last week. He’s like a big truck and takes a while to wind up. I didn’t pull the plugs; there was not enough room until very late.”   Ken Casellas

Veteran Herne Hill trainer Kevin Keys declares that former Victorian pacer Dominate The Dojo is one of the fastest beginners in Western Australia and he says that the six-year-old has bright prospects of returning to the winning list after three seconds and two thirds at his past five starts. Dominate the Dojo is ideally drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 1730m $20,000 The Rookie New On Channel 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “Seventeen hundred metres seems to be his best distance and he has his foot on the till,” he said. “The plan is to lead, and we’ll be going all out to cross the polemarker Mighty Flying Deal. We’ll be going all out to lead.” Punters will surely be influenced by the decision of champion reinsman Chris Lewis to drive Dominate The Dojo in preference to the consistent The War Nurse, a winner of eight races this season. The War Nurse, trained by Debra Lewis, wife of Chris, will be handled by Jocelyn Young from barrier seven. Dominate The Dojo arrived in Western Australia with a Victorian record of 41 starts for three wins and 19 placings. For Keys, the Art Major gelding has raced 32 times for three wins and 17 placings (11 seconds and six thirds). His three wins have been at Gloucester Park over 1730m, with rates of 1.57.4, 1.55.9 and 1.55.7. In five other starts over 1730m Dominate The Dojo has recorded two seconds, a third, a fourth and a sixth. Dominate The Dojo has a winning record of just eight per cent but placings at his past five starts behind horses of the calibre of Speed Man, Bechers Brook, Mad Robber, Zennart and Major Trojan are a strong indicator that he will be hard to beat this week. He will clash with recent winners Mighty Flying Deal (barrier one), Infinite Symbol, Bettor Reward, Four Starzzz Forsa, Ideal One and Courage Tells, but his biggest danger looms large as last season’s WA Derby winner King of Swing, who is awkwardly drawn on the inside of the back line.    King of Swing has a losing sequence of six, but he boasts a winning record of 47 per cent (17 wins from 36 starts). He was most disappointing last Friday week when he started out wide from barrier eight, raced in seventh position in the one-wide line and did not threaten danger in finishing last in a field of ten, six lengths behind the winner and pacemaker Thereugo. That followed hjs wilting ninth behind Golden State a month earlier. However, he showed good signs of a revival when he contested a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. He charged to the front after 250m and set a brisk pace, dashing over the final three quarters in 28.9sec., 29sec. and 28.2sec. to win by just under four lengths from Space Junk, rating 1.55.9.   Ken Casellas

Cracking reinsman Chris Voak, who has landed 112 winners this season, has been impressed by Beltane’s past two performances and declares the four-year-old is his brightest winning prospect at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Beltane, trained at Ravenswood by Nathan Turvey, is poorly drawn at barrier No. 8 in the Sunday Night at Seven Pace, but Voak believes the Victorian-bred gelding has the ability to overcome the awkward draw and fight out the finish. “He’s a horse on the improve and I suggest you keep following him,” Voak said. “I definitely think that he is my best chance on Friday night. In the past Beltane was a horse who didn’t travel. But Nathan changed his work before I got to drive him (at his past two starts) and now he pulls almost too hard. “We’ll probably have to go back (from the wide draw) before working into the race at the bell. He overraced a little bit in the breeze at his latest start (when third behind Ideal One and Waimac Attack at Gloucester Park last Friday night).” Voak handled Beltane for the first time two starts ago when the gelding set the pace from barrier one and won by more than five lengths from Star Armbro at Pinjarra, rating 1.56.3 over 2185m. A winner of seven races in Victoria, Beltane has under-achieved in Western Australia where his 17 starts have produced three wins and nine placings. His greatest claim to fame is that his unraced dam Lughnasadh is a half-sister to Elsu (47 starts for 27 wins, nine placings and $2,030,796) and Revonez (76 starts for 22 wins, 21 placings and $264,670). Elsu was a prolific group 1 winner and local fans will remember Revonez, a chestnut who raced five times in Western Australia in 1999 for a win in a $15,000 event at Pinjarra and a nose second placing to Paulas Mate in a Golden Nugget prelude, three starts after finishing second to Courage Under Fire in the Australian Derby at Moonee Valley.      Beltane’s toughest rival looms large as the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Waimac Attack, who has bright prospects of ending a losing sequence of 15. Waimac Attack, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, has a distinct advantage over Beltane with a most favourable draw at barrier No. 2. Waimac Attack is a consistent performer who raced without cover early and then enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing determinedly to be a neck second to the pacemaker Ideal One over 2536m last Friday night. Ken Casellas

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