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Chicago Bull is simply the best Just over two years ago Chicago Bull cheated death in a freak stable accident in New Zealand, and at Gloucester Park on Friday night the superstar seven-year-old reinforced his standing as Australia’s best pacer with an incredible victory in the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup. It was a notable triumph for the chunky little gelding as well as for champion trainer Gary Hall snr and reinsman Gary Hall jnr, who can lay claim as the country’s finest driver. Chicago Bull, presented in outstanding condition by Hall snr and driven in masterly fashion by his son, was favourite at $1.80 and he thrilled an excitable crowd with his sheer brilliance as he stormed to an effortless victory, beating $23 chance Galactic Star by just under two lengths, with up-and-coming star Shockwave ($2.65) a gallant third. “Chicago Bull was on the floor and we all thought he was taking his last breath,” said Hall jnr as he recalled the devastating moments after the gelding suffered an anaphylactic reaction to an intravenous injection in Auckland in October 2018 and fractured eight bones in his wither region. “I got a bit emotional in the cool-down lap tonight because memories came flooding back about what happened in New Zealand. To go from there to here, there’s so many people to thank. The horse has a heart bigger than himself and he’s an absolute marvel. “I think he is now as good as he was then, if not better, and it’s all credit to Dad, who has done a super job to get him back to this form. Hopefully, we will be able to take him away again (with the Hunter Cup in Melbourne next year the likely target).” Hall snr was ecstatic after Friday night’s magnificent performance, saying: “He’s unbelievable; he won so easily tonight, and I’m happy for Junior because he was nervous , and it was devastating for him to be over there in New Zealand when he was caretaking him. The accident wasn’t his fault. “This makes up for it now. Chicago Bull is running to the line better and is running away from them (his rivals). Before, he used to wait for them, but tonight it was amazing the way he went to the line. “I’ve won a few Fremantle Cups and I’m surprised at how overwhelmed I am the way Chicago Bull went tonight. He never ceases to surprise me. He’s the smallest horse I’ve trained, and he’s got a heart like a lion.” Friday night’s victory gave Hall a record tenth win in the Fremantle Cup, and his fifth success in the past six years. It was Hall junior’s ninth win in the big race. Vampiro ($31), from barrier four, was the smartest to begin, but the polemarker Bletchley Park set the pace for the first 300m before Colin Brown sent Vampiro to the front soon after Vampiro had locked sulky wheels with stablemate Mighty Conqueror, causing that pacer to break into a fierce gallop and drop back to the rear. Shockwave settled down in sixth position in the one-out, one-back trail, before Aiden de Campo urged him forward, three wide, 600m after the start, with Chicago Bull in ninth place in the one-wide line. Shockwave moved to the breeze, and after a lap of the 2536m journey had been completed, Hall sent Chicago Bull forward, three wide. The champion raced three wide for about 500m before he wrested the breeze position from Shockwave. Chicago Bull forged to the front approaching the home turn before he burst away to leave his rivals floundering in his wake. He rated 1.56.9 after a final quarter of 28.3sec. Galactic Star, who had raced in the breeze briefly in the early stages and was sixth in the one-wide line at the bell, finished powerfully to be second, with Shockwave in third place ahead of Bletchley Park. Vampiro wilted to finish sixth. Chicago Bull, who improved his record to 89 starts for 60 wins, 14 seconds, nine thirds and stakes of $2,228,843, will now tackle the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup next Friday week.   Balcatherine does it tough Four-year-old New Zealand-bred pacer Balcatherine warmed up in fine style for the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic next Friday night with a powerful performance in the 2130m Retravision, Your Fujitsu Air Conditioning Specialist Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The victory was a just reward for the aggression shown by champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr, who set Balcatherine the daunting task of pouring on the pressure on the pacemaker and $1.95 favourite Somebeachparty throughout the race. Somebeachparty was smartest into stride from barrier four, and Hall wasted no time from out wide at barrier eight to ensure that Somebeachparty, driven by Emily Suvaljko for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, was able to have an easy time in front. With Balcatherine challenging Somebeachparty for ascendancy in the early stages, the lead time was a fast 36.8sec. before the four quarters of the final mile whizzed by in 29sec., 28.9sec., 27.9sec. and 28.7sec., with the mile rate a slick 1.54.3. The two mares were locked together in a titanic struggle over the final 400m before Balcatherine drew clear in the closing stages to win by a head. Angel In White, a $13 chance who trailed the pacemaker all the way, finished a sound third. Hall was well aware of Somebeachparty’s ability, having driven her three times for three wins. “I know she is pretty classy, and I knew that I had to put it to her,” said Hall. “Balcatherine is tough and I was pleasantly surprised the way she performed after doing all that work in the breeze.” This was Balcatherine’s third start after resuming from a spell and she now has had 16 starts for eight wins, four placings and $95,638 in prizemoney. The win completed a treble for Hall and a double for trainer Gary Hall snr.   Eldaytona is a Derby hope Smart Somebeachsomewhere colt Eldaytona emerged as a formidable player in the rich WA Derby next year when he gave a stylish frontrunning display to score an emphatic victory in the 2130m Retravision, 60 Day Price Promise Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Sue Wiscombe and driven confidently by Lindsay Harper, Eldaytona, third favourite at $5.50, had his rivals under pressure a long way from home when he sped over the second and third quarters of the final mile in 28.6sec. and 27.2sec. He covered the final 400m section in 29.2sec. and defeated the $3.30 favourite Lavra Joe by two lengths, rating 1.56.7. Robbie Rocket ($12) rattled home from seventh at the bell to be an eye-catching third, with Sugar Street ($8) fighting on to be a sound fourth after working hard in the breeze. Lavra Joe, a winner at his four appearances after resuming from a spell, was not bustled out from the outside barrier (No. 9) and settled down in tenth position. Chris Lewis sent him forward, three wide, approaching the bell and he sustained a spirited run. Eldaytona, named after Daytona Beach in Florida, is raced by Wiscome, Harper and the colt’s breeders Kevin and Annette Charles. “He keeps improving and has gone to a new level at each of his past four or five runs,” Harper said. “He’s not just a frontrunner, and I’m sure he can do it from behind.” Charles entered the colt in the 2019 Perth APG yearling sale and Wiscombe and Harper outlaid $15,000 to obtain a 75 per cent share, with Charles and his wife retaining a 25 per cent ownership. Eldaytona, the seventh foal and sixth winner out of Artsplace mare Hearty Franco, has now raced 13 times for three wins, seven seconds and $28,832 in stakes. He is a half-brother to Lady Luca, who won the group 1 Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park in 2016 and was retired with earnings of $134,568 from nine wins and eight placings from 65 starts. Lady Luca has just produced her first foal, by Captain Treacherous. Lady Luca and Eldaytona’s maternal granddam Heather Franco produced Franco Hat Trick (191 starts for 30 wins, 66 placings and $659,210) and Franco Heir (83 starts for 19 wins, 16 placings and $392,272).   Braeview Bondi enhances Cup prospects Braeview Bondi, a big, strong five-year-old enhanced his claims for a start in the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup next Friday week when he gave a splendid frontrunning performance to win the 2130m Pride Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Michael Brennan and driven by Michael Grantham, Braeview Bondi, favourite at $1.55, dashed over the final 8900m in 55.2sec. and won by a half-length from $8 chance American Brave, rating 1.56.1. American Brave, prepared by Gary Hall snr, impressed at his first appearance for eight months when he was sixth at the bell before charging home with a spirited late burst. “I reckon he is definitely in the top 12 to contest the Pacing Cup,” said Grantham. “I was impressed when he went 27.3sec. down the back. He’s versatile; he can come from behind and also can do it tough.” The Victorian-bred Braeview Bondi has had 28 starts in Western Australia for eight wins and nine placings, and his career record stands at 75 starts for 17 wins, 24 placings and $192,201.   To Fast To Serious sparkles West Australian-bred four-year-old To Fast To Serious continues his rise towards the top and reinsman Aldo Cortopassi confidently predicts he will be a star of the future. To Fast To Serious, prepared at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, was not extended in setting the pace and winning the 2536m RAC Members Save 5% Everyday at Retravision Pace by three lengths from Gran Chico and Sangue Reale at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He is untapped,” said Cortopassi. “I’d love to see him sitting on the good horses before reeling off one quarter at them. He’s explosive and if he gets a chance in the big races, they’ll know he’s there. “His forte is his sit-sprint ability. He has that one devastating turn of foot. But when you get a barrier (like No. 1 tonight), you take advantage of it.” To Fast To Serious dashed over the first three quarters of the final mile in 29.4sec., 29.2sec. and 29.2sec. before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.9sec. to win at a 1.57.7 rate. To Fast To Serious is still comparatively inexperienced, with his 19 starts producing 13 wins and three seconds for stakes of $143,223.   First double for Wiscombe Former equestrian rider and trackwork jockey Sue Wiscombe notched her first training double in the sport of harness racing when Lindsay Harper brought outsider Beach Skipper home through a needle-eye inside opening to snatch a nose victory over the $1.60 favourite Headline Act in the 2130m Retravision, For All The Electrical Stuff You Love Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Beach Skipper, a $46.90 chance on the tote, started from the inside of the back line and trailed the pacemaking Headline Act throughout before Harper was able to squeeze the six-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding along the pegs to gain a last-stride verdict. Wiscombe and Harper had combined to win with Eldaytona earlier in the night. Wiscombe, in her first full season as a trainer of pacers, has enjoyed good success, with her 131 starters producing 20 wins (16 at Gloucester Park and four at Pinjarra). “I bought Beach Skipper for $20,000 from Melbourne in August last year and he has had issues with his feet and has been a little bit disappointing,” she said. Beach Skipper had won at two of his nine New Zealand starts and had raced 52 times in Victoria for five wins and 19 placings. His 20 West Australian starts for Wiscombe have produced three wins and two placings for stakes of $26,982.   Suvaljko’s bargain buys Byford trainer-reinsman Callan Suvaljkjo recently was looking to increasing the size of his team, and he has no regrets that he purchased experienced campaigners Extreme Prince and Tuas Delight. He paid just $5000 each for eight-year-old Extreme Prince and seven-year-old Tuas Delight. “I was looking for some town horses and I spoke to one of the owners of Tuas Delight,” he said. “I used to train some horses for him, and I mentioned to him that if Tuas Delight came up for lease or for sale, I would be interested. “The next day Gary Hall snr phoned me and said I could come and pick up Tuas Delight and Extreme Prince. They’re quite handy horses.” Extreme Prince was favourite at $1.90 at his third start for Suvaljko when he led all the way and won by a head from the Hall-trained Mister Bushido in the 2130m Retravision.com.au Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Extreme Prince also ran a third for Suvaljko, and at his three runs for his new trainer-reinsman he has earned $11,870. Tuas Delight has had five starts for Suvaljko for a dead-heat for first with Where Ya Bin and a second behind Caruba for stakes of $8126. Suvaljko has given both Extreme Prince and Tuas Delight to his wife Mandy as Christmas presents. He has always been successful in identifying handy horses, and pacers Franco Novella and Earl of Locksley and trotter Nacokee have been wonderful bargains for him. “I claimed Franco Novella for about $5000 in New Zealand and outlaid almost another $10,000 to get him to Perth,” he said. Franco Novella had 44 starts for Suvaljko, earning $113,985 from 20 wins and eight placings from 44 starts. Earl of Locksley cost Suvaljko $15,000 before he went on to race 158 times for him, amassing $251,797 from 22 wins and 45 placings.     Talkerup surprises his driver Veteran mare Talkerup went into the Retravision, Lowest Price Guarantee Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night an outsider at $32.50 from the back line and she surprised driver Emily Suvaljkjo when she raced in the breeze, took the lead 300m from home and won convincingly from the fast-finishing Whozideawasthis and the $1.55 favourite Liam Neil. “It was a surprise to me, and I think she had plenty left on the line,” said Suvaljko. The seven-year-old mare, owned and trained by Tony Svilicich, has been an iron horse and was having her 64TH start for the season on Friday night. She has raced 137 times for 13 wins, 29 placings and stakes of $176,054. Another oldtimer, nine-year-old Whozideawasthis, was an $11 chance who showed that he should pay to follow by unwinding a spirited three and four-wide burst from last in the field of 12 at the bell to be second.   Fast start paves the way for Tiffany Rose Three-year-old filly Tiffany Rose returned to her best form at her third appearance after a spell when she revealed sparkling gate speed from barrier eight before setting the pace and scoring an easy victory in the 2130m Retravision, 50 Months Interest Free Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Trained by Mike Reed and driven by his son Mark, Tiffany Rose was third favourite at $4.40 and she enjoyed a comfortable lead time of 38sec. and opening quarters of 30.2sec. and 29.8sec. before dashing over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 29.1sec. to win  by just under two lengths from $20 chance Miss Eerie. The consistent Star Fromthepalace ($3.20) raced in the breeze and fought on gamely to finish third, with the $3 favourite Misstiano battling on to dead-heat for fourth place with Fifty Five Reborn. The New Zealand-bred Tiffany Rose has been a handy performer, with her 26 starts producing nine wins and ten placings for earnings of $149,148.   Bar shoes help Disco Under Fire The decision of owner-trainer Giles Inwood, in consultation with his farrier, to fit bar shoes on the front feet of Disco Under Fire is paying handsome dividends. The WA-bred seven-year-old is no longer affected by foot soreness and he notched his second all-the-way victory in the space of five days when Gary Hall jnr drove him to a comfortable victory in the 2503m Retravision, We Love Our Customers Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Disco Under Fire, favourite at $1.70 after his easy win at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, relishes standing-start events and he impressed in covering the final 800m in 57.2sec. However, it was not all plain sailing, with Hall revealing that the gelding took a while to get his mind on the job. “He had trouble in switching on and he also was distracted when he had a good look at a horse (Gonzos Shadow) who had been pulled up early in the race and was on the outside of the track,” Hall said. Disco Under Fire has been an honest performer and has a record of 105 starts for ten wins and 42 placings for earnings of $95,466.   Ken Casellas

It was Chicago Bull’s defining moment. Yes he’d already won 59 races, a stack of them features, and more than $2 million in stakemoney, but last night’s dominant $300,000 Group 1 Fremantle Cup win was the pinnacle, so far at least. It was just over two years ago in Auckland he had that freakish accident which left him with a broken back and his career in tatters, just when it seemed he was on the verge of greatness. Trainer Gary Hall Sr nursed him back to the races, but at his comeback campaign he wasn’t quite the same horse. But connections were patient and tried again and now – somehow – Chicago Bull is arguably better than ever as he nears eight years of age. The pint-sized former Kiwi did all the work in a dramatic and action-packed Fremantle Cup and still left his rivals standing in the run home to score by 5.7m in a 1min56.9sec mile rate for 2536m. Watc the race replay click here The Gary Hall Jr drive was as sublime as it was confident, surging his way around to sit parked in the middle stages and giving his younger arch-rival Shockwave the one-one trail. But Chicago Bull was simply better than them. The usually unflappable Hall Jr was choked with emotion after the win, probably because he was caretaker trainer of Chicago Bull in Auckland when he had that accident a couple of years back. “That was devastating for ‘Junior’. It wasn’t his fault or anything, but he took it hard. I think this makes up for it in his mind now,” Hall Sr said. “He’s an unbelievable horse, yes that’s the word for it, unbelievable. He won so easily tonight. “He’s going at least as good as ever. If anything he’s finishing off his races better, he’s getting to the line stronger. Look at tonight, despite the work he did, he still kicked away from them.” Hall Jr marvelled at Chicago Bull’s win. “What can you say about that. He was incredible,” he said. “All the credit goes to ‘Senior’ (Gary Hall Sr). We all doubted if he’d make it back, including Senior, but he kept at it and look at the results.” Evergreen Galactic Star ran a mighty race for second, while emerging star Shockwave was perhaps slightly disappointing in third spot, albeit only beaten seven metres. When Shockwave got the breeze and then took the one-one on Chicago Bull, most would’ve had him favourite to win from there with a lap to go. The most exciting part is the same horses lock horns again with a new set of barrier draws in the $450,000 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on December 4.   HRNZ

The $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup (2536m) highlights an action-packed 10-event card at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Group 1 feature sees Chicago Bull take on Shockwave and five runners from the leading stable of Greg and Skye Bond. It promises to be a race for the ages, but WA Trotting Media Guild president Wayne Currall believes Chicago Bull can reign supreme, despite his sticky draw in gate six. “Chicago Bull has been the best pacer in WA for a number of seasons now,” Currall said. “The ‘Little Bull’ will have to work hard in the breeze to beat this field, but I think he’s up to the task. I’ve made Chicago Bull my best bet on the program. Punters should be able to get black odds about him and he’ll give them a great run for their money.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart believes Balcatherine will return to winning form in race nine. “I’ve made Balcatherine my best bet,” Wishart said. “I’m expecting her to bounce back hard here. It just didn’t pan out for her in the Norms Daughter classic last Sunday. Her first-up win was dominant and despite the draw I think she will win. Would love to get the $4 as advertised.” And veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas agrees with Wishart. “Balcatherine drops appreciably in class this week and I’m selecting her as my best bet to overcome the wide barrier at No. 8 on Friday night,” Casellas said. “On Sunday, she raced in eighth position and was forced four and five wide over the final 400m when a sound sixth behind Wainui Creek in the Norms Daughter Classic. This will be just her 16TH start, and the best is still to come.” However, TABradio’s Hayden King disagrees with the summation of the race made by Wishart and Casellas. “Somebeachparty has plenty of gate speed and there is little drawn inside her,” King said. “She led and recorded a sizzling last half on Monday. She can race to the front again and prove too tough to catch.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft thinks punters can add to their bank early doors by supporting Lavra Joe in the opening race. “Tough horse Lavra Joe has had an outstanding two-year-olds season, banking more than $100,000 from his 10 wins,” Havercroft said. “He is no stranger to wide draws and should be able to overcome barrier nine and add another victory to that number.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on the promising To Fast To Serious in race six. “Quality four-year-old To Fast To Serious has won at six of his past seven starts and was unlucky when handicappers decided not to allocate him a Fremantle Cup run,” Manning said. “He could not have been more impressive in a 10m victory at his last appearance. Connections will hope he can again win convincingly and remain in contention for a WA Pacing Cup start on December 4.” Longshot guru Pat Harding has opted for Liam Neil as his best for the night. “After last week's disrupted meeting because of rain, this week looks like being very tough,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race three with No. 1 Liam Neil. He is ideally placed and with Gary Hall Jr aboard can record another good win.” VALUE BETS WAYNE: Bettor Be Oscar drops in class from his last-start fifth behind Stroke Of Luck, where they covered the final 800m in a slick 56.2. Is drawn to play the sniper’s role from three back the pegs and can surprise at odds. WARREN: The first on the card looks like an interesting race. The race shape may swing things in favour of Machnificent, who hasn’t been able to reel in Lavra Joe in recent runs. But he is a real talent and if the indicative price of $12 is correct then he is a great each-way bet. KEN: For value, I suggest American Brave in the fourth event in which he is handily drawn at barrier three at his first appearance for eight months. He was most impressive when he sprinted over the final quarters in 28.9sec. and 27.7sec. in winning a 2150m Byford trial by 15 lengths on Sunday morning. HAYDEN: The Last Parisian has been racing superbly but has drawn disappointingly. However, this means he will be at big odds and he can overcome the draw and be a strong each-way chance. RYAN: Gran Chico improved sharply second-up to win impressively from the breeze on Sunday. Looks a chance on that effort. ERNIE: New Zealand, Victorian and WA winner Trinity Bromac is due to record another victory. The Merv Butterwoth-owned mare has shown plenty of potential since beginning to race this year for trainer Ross Olivieri. Fourths have been recorded by the six-year-old in each of her three starts since a Gloucester Park success last month. PAT: My value bet come up in race two with No. 9 Taroona Bromac. There's not a great deal of form in this race and I think this Bond-trained horse with Ryan Warwick aboard can repeat his win two starts ago. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting on what promises to be a great night of pacing at headquarters.   Wayne Currall

Veteran gelding Disco Under Fire was underperforming early last month before owner-trainer Giles Inwood sought the help from his farrier in a bid to cure the gelding’s feet problems. “My farrier fitted some bar shoes, known as Jim Blurtons, on his front feet, and that has solved the problem,” said Inwood. “His two runs back after a month off have been good. He ran a really good fourth, first-up, and then won well at Pinjarra on Monday (when he led in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra). “I now think that he can do the same thing (lead and win) in stronger company in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night.” The seven-year-old will start from the inside of the front line in the Retravision, We Love Our Customers Handicap and will be driven by Gary Hall jnr. “Disco Under Fire generally steps well and I’m hoping he can lead,” said Inwood. “If he begins safely and leads and rates 2min. it will make it difficult for good horses J B Mauney and Cyclone Banner off the 30m mark.” New Zealand-bred four-year-old J B Mauney, to be driven by star reinsman Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is a standing-start specialist who has won at ten of his past 19 starts and should fight out the finish.            Cyclone Banner, another New Zealand-bred four-year-old who will be driven by Aldo Cortopassi for Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams is a model of consistency, with his 30 starts producing 13 wins and eight placings. He will be having his second start after a spell and will pay to follow. The two other four-year-olds in the race, Where Ya Bin and Babyface Adda, were winners in mobile events at Gloucester Park on Sunday, and they will start from the 10m mark. Robbie Williams trains and drives Triroyale Brigade, who has shown promise with a win and four seconds in mobiles from his first seven starts in Western Australia. The five-year-old raced eight times in stands in New Zealand for a win and four placings. Three-year-old fillies will contest the final event on Friday night, the 2130m Retravision, 50 Months Interest Free Everyday Pace, in which the smart Peter Anderson-trained Star Fromthepalace looks hard to beat. However, she is unlikely to have matters all her own way from barrier seven and against some solid opposition, including Misstiano, Run For Mercy and Fifty Five Reborn. Chris Voak said that he expected a strong forward showing from the Ross Olivieri-trained Run For Mercy, who will start from the No. 5 barrier at her second appearance after a five-month absence. “She trialled well at Byford on Sunday morning and she will be much improved on her first-up half-head second to Aly Shar,” Voak said. Run For Mercy set the pace in the four-horse trial and rated 1.57.4 in beating Make It Happen by five lengths with final quarters in 28.6sec., 28.7sec. and 28.1sec.   Ken Casellas

The meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night looks set to get underway with plenty of excitement with star two-year-old Lavra Joe, unbeaten at four runs in his current campaign, facing one of the stiffest tests of his brilliant career when he starts from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the opening event, the 2130m Retravision 60 Day Price Promise Pace. In an 11-horse field full of talent, Lavra Joe, to be driven by champion reinsman Chris Lewis for Greenbushes trainer Ray Jones, will need to be at his top to keep his challengers, notably Eldaytona, Jumpingjackmac, Machnificent, Robbie Rocket and Sugar Street, at bay. Lavra Joe, a powerful colt, is extremely versatile, having shown splendid ability as a frontrunner, a breeze horse and a pacer capable of unleashing a spirited finishing burst. Lavra Joe settled last in a field of six last Tuesday week before Lewis sent him forward, three wide, after about 150m. He then raced outside the pacemaker Eldaytona, who fought on grandly and was defeated by a nose in the final stride by Lavra Joe, with Machnificent finishing gamely to be third. The final quarters whizzed by in 27.3sec. and 27.8sec. and the winner rated 1.56.8, improving his record to 19 starts for ten wins, four placings and $106,481 in stakes. Eldaytona, trained by Sue Wiscombe and driven by Lindsay Harper, is a speedy beginner and he has a strong chance to set the pace from the No. 3 barrier, despite the last-start all-the-way Pinjarra winner Our Shelley Beach drawn on his inside at barrier two. The least experienced runner Jumpingjackmac shows great potential, and he looms as a serious contender for trainer Gary Hall Snr and in-form reinsman Stuart McDonald. Jumpingjackmac made a successful debut when he raced at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He started from the inside of the back line and McDonald immediately eased him off the pegs. He settled down in ninth position and was about ten lengths from the leader after 600m. He then lost momentum with a lap to travel when checked by a galloping horse before he revealed sparkling speed to charge to the front with 650m to travel. The final 800m was covered in 56.7sec. and he was not extended in winning by a half-length from Disco Dynamo. That victory came eight days after he was a most impressive winner in a Byford trial. Robbie Rocket, to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko for Byford trainer Ron Huston, will have admirers after excellent wins in Byford trials on the past two Sundays. He raced in third place in an Indian file four-horse trial on Sunday before dashing to the front 450m from home and sprinting the final 400m in 27.6sec. to rate 1.58.1 in beating Squeezeme Pleaseme by ten lengths. A week earlier Robbie Rocket set the pace and covered the final 400m in 27.2sec. to win easily at a 2.2.8 rate in a five-horse 2150m trial. The Barry Howlett-trained Sugar Street has resumed after a spell in fine style with a close first-up second to Our Shelley Beach at Pinjarra after racing in the breeze. Then, at Gloucester Park last Sunday Sugar Street enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before finishing strongly with a final 800m in 56.1sec. to easily beat the promising filly American Arma.   Ken Casellas

To dominate the rich Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup the way Gary Hall Snr has done over the past two decades cannot be a fluke. His mastery and amazing run of success must be attributed to his genius as a peerless, professional preparer of pacers. And at Gloucester Park on Friday night Hall will produce his pugnacious little champion Chicago Bull in peak condition to tackle the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup over 2536m. “Chicago Bull is as good as I can possibly get him, and he’s better now than he was when he won the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups in January 2017,” said the 71-year-old Hall, who in the past 18 years has prepared the winner of the Fremantle Cup a record nine times and the WA Pacing Cup a record 11 times. And that’s a mind-boggling performance from a true wizard of harness racing, a magician or a person of exceptional or prodigious talent, who has passed on this ability to his 38-year-old son Gary, who is aiming for his ninth win as a driver in a Fremantle Cup. Hall Jnr will handle the charismatic Chicago Bull from the awkward barrier at No. 6 on the front line. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old has won at each of his past five starts and has won at 11 of his past 12 starts, with the only defeat coming in the Brennan Memorial at Gloucester Park on September 11 when he was beaten a short half-head by Shockwave. Shockwave, trained at Baskerville by Ryan Bell, is favourably drawn at barrier three, and the majority of harness racing aficionados are predicting that Friday night’s big race will develop into a thrilling duel between Chicago Bull and the four-year-old Shockwave, who has finished second to the champion at each of his past four starts. “I think it is a two-horse race,” said Hall snr. “If I haven’t got the best horse in the race, I’ve got the equal best horse. I think Shockwave is the equal of Bully, but I don’t think Shockwave has quite got the stamina that Bully has. However, Shockwave certainly has the speed and is a high-class horse, there’s no doubt about that. “This year Chicago Bull has gone from strength to strength and he’s had plenty of groundwork put into him. He’s also had a few nice and easy runs which have helped him a lot and improved his confidence.” Hall said that his son had many options from barrier six. “He can go forward (at the start); he can look to go forward after they have all settled, and he can try to slot in,” he said. “Gary’s tactics will depend on the tactics of the runners beneath him, horses like Jack Farthing, Vampiro, Shockwave and Mighty Conqueror, or whether Bletchley Park holds up from barrier one. “I’m happy to say that I’ve got the driver who can adapt to whatever happens around him. Chicago Bull is sharper than he’s ever been; he doesn’t have to lead or sit in the breeze. He’s got a lot of strings to his bow. “However, if Shockwave is able to stroll to the front, then it’s probably game over. But I don’t see that happening, though I might be wrong.” Hall said that the secret of his amazing successes in the major Cup races was having his horses primed and in peak condition. “The secret is not to have your horses ready too early,” he explained. “I know what work they require, and I space their runs.” Bell, who, as an 18-year-old, drove Ohoka Ace into second place behind Sandy Bay in the 2005 Fremantle Cup and drove Power of Tara to victory over Divisive and Im Themightyquinn in the 2009 Fremantle Cup, said he could not be happier with Shockwave’s form and fitness. “Everything continues to go as planned and the horse is in tip-top condition after his second to Chicago Bull on Sunday (when he finished strongly from fifth at the bell when the final quarters were run in 27.5sec. and 26.4sec.),” Bell said. “The barrier draw has made into a race; it will not be a walk in the park for any horse. It won’t be just a Bully versus Shockwave race, and I’d like to give Bully something to chase. I respect all rivals, including the two (Bletchley Park and Mighty Conqueror) who are drawn inside Shockwave.” Shockwave will be handled by Aiden de Campo, who said that he had been very pleased with the horse’s recent efforts. “He hasn’t been conceding defeat,” he said. “I’ve been looking after him in the run and he has been running to the line and running quick last halves. “We have done the right thing by him in the past four to five weeks, and, hopefully, he will repay us for that in the coming weeks. I don’t need to lead, but we don’t want Chicago Bull to lead.” Bell said that he had not yet discussed tactics with de Campo, but ideally it would be advantageous if Shockwave was able to set the pace. “I’m very confident that Vampiro (barrier four) will not be able to cross Shockwave,” he said. “If Shockwave doesn’t get to the front, it won’t be a problem. He’s adaptable and can sprint home in fast time.” Both Bletchley Park (barrier one) and Mighty Conqueror (two) possess excellent gate speed and are proven strong frontrunners. Mighty Conqueror (Dylan Egerton-Green) won the WA Pacing Cup last January but has been somewhat disappointing at his three appearances after a lengthy spell. However, he must be respected from his favourable barrier. Mighty Conqueror is one of five Cup runners prepared by leading trainers Greg and Sky Bond, the others being Vampiro (Colin Brown), Our Jimmy Johnstone (Michael Grantham), Ocean Ridge (Deni Roberts) and Galactic Star (Ryan Warwick). Vampiro led from barrier nine and finished a head second to the Hall-trained Caviar Star in the Fremantle Cup last January. Galactic Star was an unlucky last in the latest Fremantle Cup in which he was travelling strongly on the pegs 250m from home when he met with interference and galloped badly. He is racing keenly, with his past two outings producing a win over Vampiro and a close second to that pacer. He will start from the outside of the back line and is capable of causing an upset at handsome odds. The Ross Olivieri-trained Perfect Major will be driven by Chris Voak from the inside of the back line and his fighting third behind Chicago Bull and Shockwave on Sunday was full of merit after racing in the breeze over the final 1500m. “It was a slow early tempo, bit it was a fast last half,” said Voak. “He proved that he was up to the big boys and I was very impressed that he didn’t give up the fight and attacked the line. I think he will race three or four back on the pegs and if the heavens open up about the 400m he will sprint strongly.” Lindsay Harper, who won the 1997 Fremantle Cup behind Havago, is hoping to lead or to sit behind the pacemaker in a concerted bid to fight out the finish with the Stephen Reed-trained four-year-old Bletchley Park. Bletchley Park has started from the No. 1 barrier six times for two wins, two seconds, one third and an eighth placing. A victory would be an enjoyable present for Reed, who celebrates his 37th birthday on Thursday.   Ken Casellas

Shockwave is the big winner from this morning’s Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m) barrier draw, coming up with barrier three for the Group 1 feature. The Ryan Bell-trained pacer had drawn less favourably than Chicago Bull at each of the pair’s four most recent clashes. However, it will be Shockwave who has the draw advantage over his archrival, who drew barrier six, for the $300,000 event. Bletchley Park, who hasn’t raced since October 30, drew barrier one for trainer Stephen Reed, while reigning WA Pacing Cup winner Mighty Conqueror will start from barrier two. Vampiro had no luck in last year’s Fremantle and WA Pacing Cup draws, but looks to have a slightly easier task from barrier four with his blinding gate speed. Jack Farthing drew barrier five, while Our Jimmy Johnstone, Vultan Tin and Ocean Ridge look to have the task in front of them from barriers seven, eight and nine respectively. Perfect Major, who stormed into the Fremantle Cup field with a third placing in Sunday’s Pat Cranley Memorial, looks to have an ideal draw in barrier 10. Convert Denario and Galactic Star will also have their work cut out to win from barriers 11 and 12 respectively. Braeview Bondi and Stroke Of Luck were named as the two emergencies, while the highly talented To Fast To Serious was left out of the 14.   Tim Walker

The 2017 Fremantle Cup winner is back and is low flying for this year’s edition of the time-honoured feature. He rounded out his preparation for the event with a scintillating 53.9 last half to take out Sunday’s Global Premium Funding-Pat Cranley Memorial (2130m). The seven-year-old spent 10 months on the sidelines following just his sixth unplaced finish at Gloucester Park in June 2019. He made his return to racing in April with a super win in a six-horse field. At just his second start back he took on a fit and firing Shockwave in what shaped as a match race, only for the pair to be run down by Ocean Ridge in the closing stages. He picked his way through the heart of the winter from there, scoring nine wins and four placings between the second-up run and James Brennan Memorial. Undoubtedly the highlight came when he sat in the breeze outside Handsandwheels in July and scored by a short half-head in 1.55.4. It was at that moment any fears of Chicago Bull not getting back to his best were put to one side. The James Brennan Memorial was one for the ages, as Shockwave opened up a huge lead on his rivals while Bully did the chasing. He only fell short by a short half-head in a race that helped set up the summer to come. Since then, Chicago Bull has strung together five consecutive wins, three of which came in $50,000 races. Record: 88 starts, 59 wins and 23 placings Prizemoney: $2,036,849 Trainer: Gary Hall Snr Driver: Gary Hall Jnr Biggest Success: 2017 WA Pacing Cup   Tim Walker

No trouble for Chicago Bull Champion pacer Chicago Bull warmed up in style for Friday night’s $300,000 Fremantle Cup when he was not extended in winning the 2130m $25,000 Pat Cranley Memorial at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. “Stewie drove him perfectly,” said trainer Gary Hall snr after Stuart McDonald, substituting for the suspended Gary Hall jnr, drove Chicago Bull to an effortless victory over Shockwave and the up-and-coming Perfect Major. The race was due to be run on Friday night, but that meeting was postponed after three events when the mobile barrier was unable to gain traction on the waterlogged track. “Missing the race on Friday night wasn’t ideal,” said Hall snr. “So, I was a little bit relieved that Chicago Bull came out and cemented his position as favourite for the Fremantle Cup. It’s moving into the unknown when Junior is not driving him. “But Stewie did everything right; he’s a very good horseman and he has all the attributes to progress to the top as a reinsman.” The 26-year-old McDonald was driving Chicago Bull for only the second time --- after he was in the sulky when the gelding finished third behind Bettors Fire and Soho Tribeca in the Village Kid Sprint 1052 days ago (on December December 29, 2017) and he admitted that he was somewhat apprehensive in the week before the race. “The past week has been a little bit nerve wracking, but I think I handled it pretty well,” he said. “The delay from Friday to Sunday didn’t help and I had to go through the nerves again. I put more pressure on myself than what Senior has been putting on me. But I slept well last night, and nerves are not connected to the track. As soon as I’m behind the mobile I’m fine. “Senior told me not to push him early (from barrier three), but I was able to cross to the front anyway, and everything worked out perfectly. Our plan was to sit in the breeze but Convert Denarion (barrier one) didn’t hold up, and as long as we stayed in front of Shockwave was all that mattered. That was our goal. “Chicago Bull was bolting at the 400m mark when I pulled the plugs as soon as I saw Shockwave pull out. I was making sure Shockwave didn’t catch us and Chicago Bull was bolting in the straight --- and I was struggling to pull him up. He did it easily and didn’t turn a hair. He certainly feels good and is the best horse I’ve sat behind.” There was an early surprise in the race when $126 outsider Argyle Red began speedily and burst straight to the front. McDonald then urged Chicago Bull, favourite at $1.30, forward and he sped to the front after 250m. The lead time was an ambling 38sec. and after opening quarters of the final mile in 31sec. and 30.1sec. Chicago Bull gave his rivals no hope by speeding over the final 400m sections in 27.5sec. and 26.4sec. to win at a 1.55.6 rate. He won by just under two lengths from the $4.60 second fancy Shockwave, with $26 chance Perfect Major fighting on grandly to be third after working in the breeze for much of the way. The win, Chicago Bull’s 59TH from 88 starts, gave Hall snr his fourth success in the Cranley Memorial, after winning with El Padrino (2012), Soho Jackman (2014) and Run Oneover (2017).   Bond quinella in classic Champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond will go into the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic on Friday week full of confidence after an impressive quinella result in the $50,000 group 2 Norms Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. Our Alfie Romeo, the $3.40 second favourite, set the pace for Ryan Warwick and dashed over the final 800m in 56.1sec. but was unable to hold off a spirited late challenge from stablemate and $7.40 chance Wainui Creek, who rated 1.56.4 over the 2130m journey. Dylan Egerton-Green got Wainui Creek away fast from the No. 5 barrier and raced in the breeze for the first 500m before $14 chance Typhoon Tiff sustained a strong three-wide burst to move outside the pacemaking Our Alfie Romeo. Wainui Creek then enjoyed the perfect passage, one-out and one-back, before surging to the front about 45m from the post. The $3 favourite Gotta Go Gabbana started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten for early speed by Our Alfie Romeo. She trailed that mare all the way and was badly hampered for room for much of the home straight before getting clear late and finishing solidly to be third. Queen Shenandoah ($23) maintained her excellent form and finished strongly, out wide, from sixth at the bell to be third. Balcatherine ($4.40) was eighth at the bell and battled on gamely into sixth place.   Gran Chico back on track High-priced New Zealand import Gran Chico has recovered from a tendon injury and he looks set for a successful campaign after a fighting victory in the 2536m Trevor Itzstein Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old, making his second appearance after a five-month absence, was a $7.60 chance from out wide at barrier seven, and reinsman Mark Reed enlivened proceedings when he dashed the gelding forward (from last) to take a narrow lead from Sokys Big Bullet after about 550m. Sokys Big Bullet withstood the challenge and he had a much-needed breather with a comfortable opening quarter of the final mile in 31sec. before the tempo lifted and the speed was right on with the following 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 27.5sec. Gran Chico eventually gained the upper hand and got to the front about 500m from home. He held on in a slow final quarter of 30.6sec. to beat Roman Aviator by a half-head. Gran Chico, a winner at six of his 13 New Zealand starts, was having only his sixth Australian start for owners Jim and Wilma Giumelli and trainer Mike Reed. He made his Australian debut with a Gloucester Park win on November 15, 2019 before finishing sixth in the Four-Year-Old Classic and tenth in the Golden Nugget Championship on December 13, 2019. His next run was on May 29 this year when he led and faded to fifth behind Destined To Rule. It was then discovered he was affected by a leg problem. “Scans revealed tendon damage to his nearside foreleg,” said Mike Reed. “The problem wasn’t too serious, and a recent scan showed that the injury has healed well. “He is a good horse, and I will nominate him for the Fremantle Cup, and hope he gets a start. The quicker they go, the better he likes it. Mark said before the race that we wouldn’t die wondering. The horse has a lot to prove, but I think he will.”   Dead-heat and a protest There was plenty of action on and off the track when Tuas Delight and Where Ya Bin fought out a thrilling dead-heat in the 2130m Bob Carlier Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. After the race Ryan Warwick, the driver of Where Ya Bin, lodged a protest, contending that Tuas Delight’s driver Callan Suvaljko had not complied with the new whip rule --- and this had given Tuas Delight an advantage. Suvaljko contended that he had not breached the new rule. After considering submissions from both drivers, the stewards deliberated at length and finally dismissed Warwick’s protest. They advised both drivers that each had failed to comply with the whip rule that drivers must wield the whip with only a flicking motion and they must not use the whip outside the confines of the sulky. Tuas Delight, an $8.50 chance trained by Suvaljko, sustained a strong three-wide burst from seventh at the bell to hit the front about 90m from the post. Where Ya Bin ($11) was ninth at the bell and finished solidly.   Copy N Pace on the way up Copy N Pace showed that he has the ability to develop into a contender for the rich four-year-old classics early next year when he scored a decisive victory in the Colin Cowden Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The American Ideal gelding, favourite at $2.70, prepared by Gary Hall snr and driven by Stuart McDonald, raced wide early and then in the breeze before gaining the one-out and one-back trail on his way to bursting to the front on the home turn and winning by just over a length from the fast-finishing Riverina Flash. Tiffany Rose, the only filly in the 2130m event, was a $23 chance who surprised by beginning brilliantly from the outside barrier (No. 9) and charging to the front after 80 metres. She fought on gamely at her second outing after a spell to finish fourth. The New Zealand-bred Copy N Pace gave part-owner Tina Chapman an enjoyable birthday present. She races the three-year-old in partnership with her husband Steve and their children Danielle and Ben. Copy N Pace, who was making his second appearance after a spell, has earned $41,576 from six wins and four seconds from 16 starts. He is a full-brother to two other talented pacers owned by the Chapman family --- My Hard Copy and My Carbon Copy. My Hard Copy retired after racing 89 times for 27 wins, 23 placings and stakes of $1,271,592. His major victories were the WA Pacing Cup in 2015 and 2016, the 2018 Fremantle Cup and 2018 Pinjarra Cup. Four-year-old My Carbon Copy has had 33 starts for ten wins, 14 placings and $116,468 in prizemoney.   Euphoric Moment ends a lean run Euphoric Moment, a hardy four-year-old who thrives on racing, ended a losing sequence of 17 when he finished with a spirited burst to defeat the pacemaker and $1.38 favourite The Kraken in the 2536m Enrique Aldana Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Starting at the handsome odds of $13.40 after finishing second four times from his previous six starts, Euphoric Moment made the most of an unusual lucky break. Deni Roberts had Euphoric Moment travelling well in sixth position in the one-out, two-back position when Western Arterra suffered an atrial fibrillation about 1250m from home, forcing Dylan Egerton-Green to ease the gelding out of the race. This enabled Roberts to assume the favourable one-out, one-back position while The Kraken was bowling along in front. Euphoric Moment swept to the front 90m from the post and won by just under a length from The Kraken, with Blue Blazer ($7.50) flying home between horses after being badly blocked for a clear passage to finish an eye-catching third. Euphoric Moment is trained in Collie by Errol Ashcroft, who said that the gelding relished a strenuous racing program. “I’ve always been a past master at looking after my horses and keeping them going,” he said. Euphoric Moment has had 81 starts for 12 wins, 26 placings and $103,929. The well-named gelding is by American stallion and former star pacer Mr Feelgood and is out of the Kinney Hanover mare Barleys Hope, who had 59 starts for six wins, 15 placings and $50,126. “I gave Barleys Hope to Scott and Cathy Glover, who live in New South Wales, and they bred Euphoric Moment at Mike Hackett’s property,” Ashcroft said. “I’m also training Euphoric Moment’s two-year-old half-sister Sats Maloo, who is showing promise.”   Chloe’s birthday present Chloe Brown received a surprise 29TH birthday present on Friday night when her partner Dylan Egerton-Green drove a brilliant race to land $51 outsider Tyler Brett the winner of the 2130m Chris Carr Pace at Gloucester Park. Brown, who races Tyler Brett on lease from Collie breeder John Bell, was at work as a receptionist at St John of God Murdoch Hospital while Egerton-Green was saturated and covered in mud as he guided Tyler Brett to his upset win. It was a daring drive by Egerton-Green which paid dividends. Tyler Brett began brilliantly from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line, but he was unable to wrest the early lead from the polemarker and $1.38 favourite Chiaroscuro. The lead time was a fast 36.3sec. and Egerton-Green was able to angle Tyler Brett across to the pegs and take the trail behind Chiaroscuro, relegating the $5.50 second fancy As Happy As Larry to three back on the pegs. When the breeze horse Jimmy Mack began to wilt approaching the home turn, Egerton-Green was able to get Tyler Brett into the clear and the six-year-old finished strongly to get to the front with about 65m to travel. Tyler Brett won comfortably from the fast-finishing As Happy As Larry and Chiaroscuro. Egerton-Green said that he had no preconceived plan to get Tyler Brett away so fast and to make a bid for the lead. “I just wanted to see how the horse felt, and he wanted to go,” he said. “So, I persuaded him to go a bit quicker, and we managed to find a spot behind the leader; it was a race-winning move. “If we had been forced to race without cover, we would have found it harder to win. But I’m sure he still would have run a good race. He has been racing really well.” Tyler Brett has been a good moneyspinner, with his 51 starts producing 16 wins, 15 placings and $144,721. He is by the Fake Left stallion Robin Hood, who amassed $796,567 from 24 wins and 18 placings from 77 starts. His wins included the 2005 Kilmore Cup, the 2005 Cranbourne Cup, the 2006 Ballarat Cup, the 2007 Victoria Cup and the 2008 Treuer Memorial at Bankstown. Robin Hood also finished third to Be Good Johnny and Slipnslide in a three-way photo in the 2005 Miracle Mile. Tyler Brett is the only one of four foals out of Jossies Belle to race. Jossies Belle, by Orleans, won only three times from 51 starts.   Sugar Street beats the fillies The adage that a good colt will always beat a good filly was proved to be correct when Sugar Street, the only colt in the field, proved the master of his five rivals, all fillies, in the Coco Hseq Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. Sugar Street, second fancy at $2.70 for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, was driven confidently by Chris Voak and the Bettors Delight colt chalked up his second win from ten starts when he defeated the $1.65 favourite American Arma, who had won impressively against her own sex at her first two starts. Joelene, third fancy at $9, galloped badly when attempting to lead 120m after the start, and Bettor Beach Belle ($17) set the pace in an Indian file affair until Colin Brown eased American Arma off the pegs in fifth position after a lap had been covered. Voak then followed Arma, who raced in the breeze before taking the lead 220m from home. Sugar Street enjoyed the benefit of a comfortable passage throughout, sprinted home strongly to get to the front on the home turn and then win by a length and a half from American Arma.   Babyface Adda enjoys leading Boyanup horseman Cody Wallrodt took full advantage of Babyface Adda’s ability as a frontrunner when he drove the four-year-old to a smart all-the-way victory in the 2130m Graham Compson 80TH Birthday Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon.    Babyface Adda, the $1.22 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, had to withstand a spirited bid for the early lead from The Black Cardinal ($16) before covering the first two quarters in 30.7sec. and 30.5sec. and then sprinting over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 28.4sec. on his way to winning by 2m from $23 chance Henwood Bay, who fought on determinedly after working in the breeze. Wallrodt races the Rich And Spoilt gelding on lease and has prepared him for his past six starts for Sunday’s victory and two placings. Babyface Adda, who ended a losing sequence of ten, is a noted frontrunner who has set the pace in seven of his 11 wins in a 50-start career.   It’s Therugo at last Speedy seven-year-old Thereugo, beaten on the 13 previous occasions when he set the pace, broke through for an overdue win and ended a losing sequence of 23 when he enjoyed the benefit of a slow lead time of 38.9sec. and a leisurely opening quarter of 31.8sec. to win the 2130m It’s Your Birthday Casey Greenfield Pace at Gloucester Park on Sunday afternoon. Favourite at $2, the Lindsay Harper owned, trained and driven Thereugo revealed his normal sparkling gate speed from barrier six to burst straight to the front and he was not seriously challenged before he sped over the final quarters in 27.8sec. and 28.2sec. to win by just under a length from $6 chance Sergeant Oats, rating 1.58. Nineteen of Thereugo’s 21 victories have been achieved when he has set the pace and Sunday’s win boosted his earnings to $192,180. By American stallion McArdle, Thereugo is out of the Live Or Die mare Janice Franco, who earned $76,782 from eight wins and 19 placings from 110 starts.   Ken Casellas

It’s on again. The next instalment of “Bully” versus “Shocky” takes place at Gloucester Park on Friday night when WA’s best two pacers lock horns in the Pat Cranley Memorial (2130m). Chicago Bull has once again drawn inside Shockwave and will be sent out a short-priced favourite to relegate his younger rival into second place, just like he has at their past three meetings. However, Stuart McDonald jumps into the bike on Friday night to replace Chicago Bull’s regular reinsman - the suspended Gary Hall Jr - and his only drive on the little champ resulted in a third placing behind Bettors Fire in the 2017 edition of the Village Kid Sprint. This could give Shockwave supporters some hope of a victory, but members of the WA Trotting Media Guild believe Chicago Bull will still reign supreme despite none of them making him a best bet. Three of the Guild’s members have made The Kraken their star bet for Friday night's action-packed 10-event card. Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart, The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and that paper’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft all believe the Aiden De Campo-reined and trained pacer can lead all the way in race two. “The Kraken has been in fantastic form this time in and should appreciate the low draw on Friday night,” Wishart said. “Too strong last time out from the breeze, but will be on the pegs this week and should be too good.” Manning agrees. “Barrier one is a bonus for The Kraken after he was able to face the breeze and win two weeks ago,” Manning said. The four-year-old gelding, who hit an eight-run losing sequence before he recently regained peak form, has won twice in his past four appearances. He looks poised to notch the 10th victory of his career.” And Havercroft makes it a clean sweep. “The Kraken has resumed from a recent spell in fine form and comes up with the right draw this Friday,” Havercroft said. “He capitalised on barrier one at Bunbury when second-up and they couldn’t catch him on that occasion.” TABradio’s Matt Young has gone in search of some value with his best bet. “Chiaroscuro has been held up his last two against the strongest of opposition,” Young said. “He’s drawn to lead over the middle distance and back down in grade – his race to lose.” But longshot guru Pat Harding disagrees with his younger colleague. “Looks like being another tough night at GP this Friday,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race three with No. 2 El Jacko, This horse, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is well overdue for a win and this could be his chance to break through at good value.” TABradio’s Hayden King believes One For Dave Andme can take out race six. “One For Dave Andme was held up at his first-up run when finishing sixth behind Headline Act earlier this month, but hit the line encouragingly,” King said. “Now he draws to lead. I predict he will return to his best and make every post a winner.” Veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas, who braved a chilly headquarters on Tuesday night, is keen on Just Makemine Diamonds in race seven. “Just Makemine Diamonds should appreciate a favourable draw and has bright prospects of ending a losing sequence of 11 when she starts from the No. 2 barrier on Friday night.” Casellas said. “She excels as a frontrunner and I have made her my best bet this week - after she has started at handsome odds and has finished at the rear of the field at her past three starts.” However, Guild president Wayne Currall is just as confident the enigmatic Thereugo can return to winning form when he tackles Just Makemine Diamonds and co in the seventh race. “Thereugo hasn’t won in more than a year, but his past two starts where he’s finished close seconds suggest that he’s on the way back,” Currall said. “Ken is kidding himself if he thinks Just Makemine Diamonds can hold the speedy Thereugo at the start. Lindsay Harper will use Thereugo’s blistering pace from the mobile to run to the front. I think he might be able to hold on for an overdue victory from there.” VALUE BETS WARREN: Balcatherine made an outstanding return to the track after leading and thrashing similar opposition to Friday night's race. Should only be improved and despite the tricky draw, at around the suggested price of $6.50, she is outstanding value. ERNIE: Im Rocknroll Magic, a New Zealand, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth winner, is due to display his best again. The gelding is capable of improving sharply after he faced the breeze and ran unplaced last week. Though beaten at his past seven appearances, he has shown class in four Menangle victories. RYAN: Convert Denario will have the best seat in the house when following Chicago Bull around GP on Friday night. Gets every chance to run into the placings. MATT: Typhoon Tiff can carve out some wonderful sectionals and should be close enough to them in the Norms Daughter. Represents big overs for mine in the current market available on TABtouch. PAT: My value bet of the nigh is also Our Alfie Romeo. She had a great win last week and was my value bet then. I think she can make it two in a row and give punters some joy. HAYDEN: Black Jack Zac has been racing supremely well for quite some time and his last run was particularly flattering. There does appear to be some pace on and he could swallow them up late at hefty odds. KEN: For value, I suggest Jack William in race seven. The ultra-consistent pacer will start from the inside of the back line and if he gets into the clear at any stage of the race I’m sure he will figure prominently at the finish. WAYNE: Henwood Bay will go around at a big price in race eight, but he could surprise. His last few efforts have been sound and if he gets the race run to suit can finish over the top of them. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

Experienced five-year-old One For Dave Andme has a modest eight per cent winning record, but his young trainer Corey Peterson is confident he will be hard to beat, second-up, when he starts from the No. 2 barrier in the 2536m Trevor Itzstein Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He worked pretty good at Byford this morning (Tuesday) when he was nice and sharp and ran his final quarter in 27.4sec.,” Peterson said. One For Dave Andme resumed after a spell when sixth behind Headline Act at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. “They came home in 56.4sec. and he was held up for a clear run,” Peterson said. Peterson, who drove One For Dave Andme to a notable victory over up-and-coming star To Fast To Serious in the John Higgins Memorial two starts ago, on July 24, has decided not to handle the gelding this week, with the drive going to Kim Prentice. Peterson has opted to travel to Bunbury on Friday night where he will have a drive in seven of the eight events, with Join The Que (race four) and Rollsoffthetongue (race six) having excellent winning prospects.   “One For Dave Andme should be able to lead from barrier two,” Peterson said. “But it will be up to Kim to decide on tactics. Roman Aviator drops in class and should be hard to beat.” Another horse who looks sure to be prominent is ten-year-old Sokys Big Bullet, who will start from barrier seven with Chris Voak in the sulky. Sokys Big Bullet impressed last Friday week when he settled down in tenth and last position before starting a three-wide move 1150m from home and finishing second to the fast-finishing Rocknroll Whitby. “His latest run was very good, and I thought he was pretty unlucky,” said trainer Giles Inwood. “He had to do all the work and the mile rate (1.55.6) was pretty slick. I think we will go back at the start. He used to be a noted breeze horse, but I think he goes better when you sit him up.”   Ken Casellas

Leading concession driver Emily Suvaljko is looking forward to celebrating her wonderful achievement of chalking up a century of winners this season by guiding speedy six-year-old Chiaroscuro to an all-the-way win in the 2130m Chris Carr Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A well-deserved victory would enable the Murray Lindau-trained gelding to end a 15-month drought and a losing sequence of 17. Chiaroscuro will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier and Suvaljko (who took her tally of wins this season to 102 with victories behind $34 chance Seeknyoushallfind at Pinjarra on Monday and Cavalry Call ($2.90) at Gloucester Park on Tuesday) aims to take advantage of the ideal draw and the gelding’s sparkling gate speed. “He is one of my best chances on the night and he should be right in it, in this class,” the 20-year-old Suvaljko said. “I have driven him at his past two starts and haven’t driven him forward. But Murray says he has very good gate speed, and he has been running the sectionals that the Free-For-All horses have been running. The main danger is probably As Happy As Larry.” Chiaroscuro had no luck last week when tenth, three lengths behind the winner Vampiro. He was blocked for a clear run in the final circuit. Chiaroscuro has started from barrier one in 2130m events at Gloucester Park seven times, leading and winning three times, sitting behind the pacemaker three times for two seconds and a third, and galloping out and racing in the breeze and finishing fourth once. Suvaljko said she was excited to bring up a century of winners in a season. “I knocked off my personal best of 60 winners last season when I had 78 winners at the usual end of this season (at the end of August) and my goal each season is to break my personal best.” She is also enthusiastic about the prospects of Jack William in the 2130m It's Your Birthday Casey Greenfield Pace in which the Nathan Turvey-trained seven-year-old will start from the inside of the back line. Jack William has been a model of consistency. His six starts before his last-start fifth (from the inside of the back line when he did not get clear until late) produced four seconds and two thirds. “Barrier ten (inside of the back line) is definitely not his favourite draw,” Suvaljko said. “With any other horse I wouldn’t mind drawing ten, but with him, definitely not. “We will probably have to see what comes out of the gate. It’s a very suitable race for him, if he can get to the breeze. I’m not sure whether we can get to the breeze and if we can’t get out early, we’ll probably have to push out later to try to get into the race. “He pulled up with a bit of a cold after his latest run and he’s had a week’s break. He should be back to his best this week.” Jack William, a winner of 13 races from 84 starts, certainly has the ability to win this week in a race with many chances, including Just Makemine Diamonds, Black Jack Zac, Angel In White, Delightfulreaction and Thereugo. Matt Scott, who has recently taken over the preparation of Black Jack Zac from owner John Ellis, who is “a bit sore in the hips,” said the six-year-old with a losing sequence of 42 was a winning chance from the awkward barrier at No. 7. Black Jack Zac was most impressive last Friday night when he sustained a powerful burst from the rear to finish a half-head second to Alta Rhett. “He has been racing well from bad draws and his work has been excellent,” said Scott.   Ken Casellas

When Stuart McDonald takes the reins behind superstar pacer Chicago Bull in the $25,000 Global Premium Funcding Pat Cranley Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night it will mark 1050 days since the only previous time he has driven the New Zealand-bred gelding in a race. The 26-year-old McDonald replaces champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, who is serving a brief term of suspension, and he hopes that Chicago Bull will warm up for the $300,000 Fremantle Cup the following Friday night with a strong victory. The only time McDonald has handled the champion pacer who has won at 58 of his 87 starts was in the Village Kid Sprint at Gloucester Park on December 29, 2017 when Chicago Bull was a $3.30 chance from the No. 3 barrier who enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, before running home strongly, out four wide to finish third behind $56 outsider Bettors Fire and the $1.60 favourite Soho Tribeca. Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr declared that Chicago Bull was at the top of his game ahead of the Fremantle Cup and the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup on December 4. “I expect him to lead and win,” Hall said. “He needs a bit of a hit out before the Fremantle Cup and this run should top him right off.” Chicago Bull possesses brilliant gate speed and McDonald should be able to send the nuggetty little gelding to the front when the mobile barrier sends the field on its way. The polemarker Convert Denario is a fast beginner and proven frontrunner, but his reinsman Aldo Cortopassi is likely to give the six-year-old a comfortable passage behind the leader. Oakford trainer Ross OIivieri has three runners in the race Im Full Of Excuses, Perfect Major and Stroke Of Luck and leading reinsman Chris Voak has opted to handle the exciting up-and-coming four-year-old Perfect Major, with Chris Lewis to drive Im Full Of Excuses and Mitch Miller to handle Stroke Of Luck. The comparatively inexperienced Perfect Major has won at his past six starts., He will start from the No. 4 barrier and faces an acid test at his first appearance in open-class company. “You can’t fault Perfect Major’s form and I think he will measure up to this rise in class,” Olivieri said. “Chris Lewis will drive Im Full Of Excuses at his first start since early in May. He is a very classy animal and his wins in trials at Pinjarra on the past two Sundays have been very good.” The Ryan Bell-trained four-year-old Shockwave has finished second to Chicago Bull at his past three starts in the Stratton Cup, Mount Eden Sprint and Howard Porter Memorial. He has drawn the No. 5 barrier but should still provide tremendous opposition to Chicago Bull.   Ken Casellas

Reigning Mares Classic winner Gotta Go Gabbana will get a wonderful opportunity to enter this year’s edition of the race in winning form, having drawn barrier one for the Group 2 Norms Daughter Classic (2130m) at Gloucester Park this Friday night. The Annie Belton-trained mare made a sound return to racing last Friday night when fourth to Our Alfie Romeo, despite having to do much of the bullocking work in the breeze. The Greg and Skye Bond-trained pair Our Alfie Romeo and Wainui Creek took out the opening two races at Gloucester Park last Friday night and they will look to enhance their chances from barrier two and five respectively this Friday. Balcatherine has made an impressive return to racing this campaign, but she will have her work cut out in this week’s $50,000 event from barrier six. Typhoon Tiff has been a model of consistency this campaign as well, recording three wins and three placings in nine starts. The Colin Brown-trained mare will start from barrier 12 this Friday night. Meanwhile, Chicago Bull has again drawn inside Shockwave for the Pat Cranley Memorial (2130m), also on Friday night. Chicago Bull drew barrier three for the $25,000 event, while Shockwave will start from barrier five. The Gary Hall Snr-trained pacer has drawn barrier one in his past two starts and will look to round out his Fremantle Cup preparations in winning style. Convert Denario, trained by the in-form Ray Williams, could have a big say in the early speed battle, having drawn barrier one. Stuart McDonald will drive Chicago Bull in the Pat Cranley Memorial, with regular driver Gary Hall Jnr out suspended. McDonald told TABradio prior to the barrier draw he wanted to draw inside Shockwave and was looking forward to teaming up with the seven-year-old. “I’m looking forward to it,” he told TABradio. “He’s going very well obviously. “I’ve driven him once before and it’s good to get an opportunity to drive him again.” Im Full Of Excuses also makes his return to racing in the Free-For-All event and has drawn barrier two. Perfect Major gets his first look at FFA racing in WA and will start from barrier four. Norms Daughter Classic 1.Gotta Go Gabbana 2. Our Alfie Romeo 3. Queen Shenandoah 4. Has No Fear 5. Wainui Creek 6. Balcatherine 7. Mandy Joan 8. Arma Indie 9. Rosies Ideal 10. Talkerup 11. Millwood Molly 12. Typhoon Tiff Pat Cranley Memorial 1.Convert Denario 2. I’m Full Of Excuses 3. Chicago Bull 4. Perfect Major 5. Shockwave 6. Stroke Of Luck 7. Argyle Red 8. Braeview Bondi 9. Vultan Tin   Tim Walker

To Fast To Serious is a rising star Top-flight reinsman Aldo Cortopassi lavished praise on To Fast To Serious after driving the brilliant four-year-old to a runaway victory in the group 3 Im Themightyquinn Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He declared the gelding, a $10,000 purchase at the 2017 Perth yearling sale, had the raw ability to develop into a star performer in top company and said that he would not be out of place in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in the next few weeks. “To Fast To Serious is doing a great job going through the classes and it would be very hard not to be pleased with his first-up performance tonight,” Cortopassi said. “He’s matured into a lovely horse, just looking at his body shape. “I think the connections are thinking about throwing their hat into the ring and hoping he can get a start in the big Cups. Looking at the criteria, I think he matches up okay. “The only problem with running in the Cups is that they are so close at hand and he’ll be pretty fresh. But in saying that, class horses are always better fresh. “I’m excited at the prospect of To Fast To Serious racing against Chicago Bull and Shockwave. He can sit back off them in genuinely-run races and let them have their fight out --- and their drivers would have to keep an eye on the rear vision mirror. To Fast To Serious will follow speed all day; he’s on the way up, and it’s exciting times.” To Fast To Serious, produced in superb condition for his first run for 15 weeks by astute Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams, was favourite at $2.40 from barrier two on the back line in Friday night’s $30,000 feature event. He settled in sixth position, one-out and two-back, with the $3.30 second fancy Triroyale Brigade leading for the first 80m before being crossed by the speedy Radiant Amber ($31). Robbie Williams was not content to take the sit behind Radiant Amber and he dashed Triroyale Brigade back into the lead 230m later. Cortopassi sent To Fast To Serious forward with a three-wide burst 900m from home and he was able to take the one-out, one-back position at the 650m mark when rank outsider Beach Skipper began to tire. To Fast To Serious then charged forward, three wide at the 300m mark and he burst to the front 80m later before racing away to win by three lengths from Triroyale, with Radiant Amber finishing third and $5 chance Euphoric Moment running strongly into fourth place. To Fast To Serious sprinted over the final 800m in 56.2sec. and rated 1.56.1 over the 2130m journey. By American stallion Shadow Play out of former smart New Zealand-bred mare Smile With Me, To Fast To Serious has earned $131,737 from 12 wins and three seconds from just 18 starts.   Gear change aids Our Alfie Romeo Classy pacer Our Alfie Romeo bounced back to her best form and warmed up in style for the coming rich feature events for mares with a dashing all-the-way victory in the $22,000 Etch Coatings Free-For-All over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Star reinsman Ryan Warwick attributed Our Alfie Romeo’s stylish performance to a well thought-out gear change, describing the addition for the first time of a one-legged spreader as a major secret of her success. Our Alfie Romeo, prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond, was third favourite at $4.10 and revealed sparkling gate speed from the No. 4 barrier to burst to the front after 80m. She then relished her frontrunning role and sped over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.9sec. to win by just over a half-length from Somebeachsomeparty ($3.80), with the fast-finishing Queen Shenandoah ($21) finishing powerfully from the rear to be an eye-catching third. The winner, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old by Washington VC, rated 1.56.6 and improved her record to 53 starts for 21 wins, 12 placings and $317,130 in prizemoney. Among her four feature victories, Our Alfie Romeo set the pace and easily beat Arma Indie in the Norms Daughter Classic 12 months ago. She is sure to be a leading candidate for the $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic next Friday night and the $125,000 Westral Classic two weeks later. “Our Alfie Romeo has been close to hitting her knees, and I think she has been sitting on about 80 per cent,” Warwick said. “So, we put the one-legged spreader on to give her a bit of confidence, in case she needed it. And she’s won pretty easily tonight. “She does like it in front, and she wasn’t 80 per cent tonight; she was closer to 95 per cent. And I think there’s a little bit more there.” Mandy Joan, the $3 favourite in Friday night’s race, enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail, but did not threaten danger and finished sixth, while Gotta Go Gabbana ($4.80) worked hard in the breeze and finished fourth.   Wainui Creek overcomes serious setback Quality four-year-old Wainui Creek, a group 1 winner at Addington last February, overcame a major setback before scoring an effortless victory in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She raced for the entire race with a completely flat nearside sulky tyre and shrugged off that disadvantage as she set the pace and won by 5m from Sergeant Oats, rating 1.58. It was a commanding performance from the $3.90 chance after finishing a nose second to Millwood Molly and then fading after a tough run to finish ninth behind Balcatherine at her first two starts in Western Australia. Star reinsman Ryan Warwick said that it was an impressive display, revealing that the nearside sulky tyre was flat from the outset. “I think that going on to the track I might have pinched the tube,” he explained. “As soon as we took off the tyre was flat.” Warwick said that Wainui Creek was fitted with hood type blinkers for the first time in WA. “They said in New Zealand that we should try them, but her work at home was so good that we thought we didn’t need to. But she wasn’t bringing her form to the races, so we tried the blinkers tonight, and obviously it worked. “At her first run here, I thought she should have run past the leader, but she didn’t. He second run was a hard race to win, but I thought she should have finished closer.” Outstanding trainers Greg and Skye Bond are now likely to have two strong prospects in next Friday night’s $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic --- Wainui Creek and Our Alfie Romeo, who was also an impressive all-the-way winner on Friday night. His would leave Warwick a difficult choice. “Decisions like that are good because you’ve got two bullets in the gun,” said Warwick. “The wins by both the mares were good. That’s what we needed both of them to do, to get some confidence.”   Vampiro on target for the Cups Tough frontrunning pacer Vampiro showed that he is well and truly on target for the $300,000 Fremantle Cup on next Friday week and the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup a fortnight later when Colin  Brown drove that New Zealand-bred six-year-old to an all-the-way victory in the 2536m Cowden The Insurance Brokers Free-For-All at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Rocknroll Hanover gelding, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, was favourite at $1.70 and after final quarters of 27.7sec. and 28.3sec. he held on determinedly to beat stablemates Galactic Star ($18) and Our Jimmy Johnstone ($12) in a punishing finish. Vampiro ran out slightly in the home straight and locked spider wheels with Galactic Star (Dylan Egerton-Green) in the final couple of strides. Egerton-Green contemplated lodging a protest, but he decided against it after viewing the finishing stages of the race in the stewards’ room. Mighty Conqueror ($3.60) gave the Bond stable the distinction of preparing the first four placegetters when he fought on doggedly into fourth place, just ahead of $51 outsider Vultan Tin, who impressed in charging home, out four wide, from tenth at the bell. Brown said that the distances of the 2536m Fremantle Cup and the 2936m WA Pacing Cup would not worry Vampiro. “He showed that last January when he led in both the Cups and finished a head second to Caviar Star in the Fremantle Cup and a head second to Mighty Conqueror in the Pacing Cup, rating 1.54.2 and 1.56.5, respectively,” he said. Vampiro’s win on Friday night came two weeks after he had set the pace and finished a close second to Galactic Star over 2536m. “I was aware of the horse (Stroke Of Luck) sitting on his back, and I don’t think it suited Vampiro (holding him back to deny a clear run for Stroke Of Luck),” Brown said. “Tonight, I let him run pretty well from the 900m, and he’s more suited to that. He’ll be one of the contenders for the Cups, with his gate speed. If he draws the front line, his gate speed is enormous. “He is getting fitter and Greg and Skye have got him pretty well on target.” Vampiro has been a grand campaigner for his owners Skye Bond and Rob Gartrell and the six-year-old has now amassed $562,634 from 25 wins and 21 placings from 66 starts. Star reinsman Ryan Warwick, who drove Mighty Conqueror in Friday night’s race, was disappointed with the five-year-old’s fourth placing after enjoying an ideal trip one-out and one-back, saying: “He just flatlined a little bit. I think he’s sitting about 80 per cent. He should have been on the horse’s back in front of him a lot better. He should have been able to pull out and sprint. But he didn’t.”   Six in a row for Perfect Major Up-and-coming four-year-old Perfect Major improved his winning sequence to six when Chris Voak drove him to an effortless victory in the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He was a red hot favourite at $1.04 and his 19m win over Angel In White greatly impressed outstanding trainer Ross Olivieri, who is toying with the idea of setting him for the upcoming Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups. “He won with the plugs in and now I might have to reassess his program,” Olivieri said. “I don’t know whether we’re biting off more than we can chew, but I’ve got to think about the big Cups. I think he can measure up, and so can Stroke Of Luck, who is no slouch. “Perfect Major is a funny horse. He looks after himself at home where his trackwork is good but he’s very laid back. Going on what he’s like at home, you wouldn’t believe what he is doing in his races.” From the No. 1 barrier on Friday night, Perfect Major led for the first 100m before the flying Dominate The Dojo burst to the front. Voak then switched Perfect Major off the pegs and regained the lead 100m later and the Art Major gelding left his rivals in his wake when he sizzled over the final three quarters in 28.6sec., 28.4sec. and 28.2sec. Perfect Major now has raced 30 times for 12 wins, nine placings and stakes of $109,965.   Star Fromthepalace is getting better Ultra-consistent pacer Star Fromthepalace boosted her earnings past the $100,000 mark and showed that she would be not out of place in the upcoming Norms Daughter Classic and the $125,000 Westral Classic when she gave a strong frontrunning performance to win the 2130m Westral Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Aldo Cortopassi took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier and he rated the Peter Anderson-trained filly perfectly, who after a modest lead time of 38.1sec. and slow opening quarter of 31.2sec., sped over the final three 400m sections in 28.4sec., 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. to beat Miss Lamarr and Misstiano. “She went super,” said Cortopassi. “She has matured into a nice horse who is not so revvy now. Peter has taken a lot of gear off her and has made her not so angry. “If she gets a good draw in the big races for fillies and mares, the others will know that she’s there. I’m sure that she wouldn’t have been disgraced if she had contested tonight’s race for mares (won by Our Alfie Romeo).” Star Fromthepalace, bred and owned by Bob Fowler, won twice from 14 starts as a two-year-old and now boasts a splendid record of 34 starts for nine wins, 13 placings and $108,306 in prizemoney.   Argyle Red likes the No. 1 barrier Veteran pacer Argyle Red continues to race with admirable enthusiasm for owner-breeder Rob MacDonald and the eight-year-old excels when he draws the perfect No. 1 barrier. Going into the 2130m Catalano Truck And Equipment Sales Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night with a sequence of seven unplaced efforts, Argyle Red was a solidly-supported $3 favourite, with Morgan Woodley in the sulky. Woodley jumped Argyle Red straight into the lead and after a slow lead time of 38.1sec . and leisurely opening quarters of 32.2sec. and 29.6sec. the gelding sped over the final quarter in 27.7sec. and 27.6sec. to win at a 1.57.2 rate from Jimmy Mack (who trailed the leader throughout) and Rock me Over (who raced three back on the pegs). Argyle Red has won six times after starting from the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park and he has also run two seconds from the inside draw. He has been a wonderful moneyspinner for the Pinjarra based MacDonald, with his 143 starts producing 19 wins and 32 placings for earnings of $283,755. Makoczar the first leg of Voak double The battle for the honour of the State’s leading driver for the 2019-20 season continued at Gloucester Park on Friday night with Ryan Warwick and Chris Voak each landing a double. Warwick took a one-win lead with an early double behind Our Alfie Romeo before Voak regained the lead with wins late in the program with Makoczar and Perfect Major. Voak now has landed 238 winners from 1356 drives and Warwick has 237 winners from 766 drives. Makoczar, trained by Voak’s mother Linley, was the $3 second fancy in the 2503m standing start Retravision Handicap, and despite racing roughly early Makoczar dashed to an early lead and went on to set the pace and win by a neck from $16 chance Allwoods Rocknroll, who trailed the pacemaker throughout. The $1.85 favourite J B Mauney was slow into stride from the 20m back mark and was ninth with just 550m to travel before finishing solidly, out five wide, to be fifth. This was Makoczar’s fourth Gloucester Park victory and the big four-year-old was raced 30 times for ten wins, four placings and $57,057 in prizemoney.   Rejuvenated Maras Ace Man shines Veteran pacer Maras Ace Man, who managed one win from his first 95 starts, is thriving under the care of Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo and he notched his eleventh win from his past 37 starts when he caused an upset by finishing powerfully to beat the pacemaker and $3.10 favourite Thereugo in the 2130m Westside Auto Wholesale Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Maras Ace Man, owned by talented young reinsman Michael Grantham and Kurt Pellington, was a $12.30 chance who was restrained at the start from the No. 5 barrier. De Campo cleverly angled Maras Ace Man across to the pegs and the eight-year-old raced in sixth position on the inside before getting into the clear and finishing strongly to hit the front 25m from the post. This improved his record to 132 starts for 12 wins, 18 placings and stakes of $101,523.    Alta Rhett holds on Four-year-olds Alta Rhett and Taroona Bromac were the youngest runners in the 2130m Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and they dominated betting, with Taroona Bromac starting favourite at $2.20 and Alta Rhett quoted at $2.80. However, the anticipated struggle did not eventuate, with Nathan Turvey jumping Alta Rhett straight to the front, and Taroona Bromac breaking into a fierce gallop moments after the mobile barrier had sent the field of 11 on its way. Alta Rhett, trained in Bunbury by Sarah Wall, bowled along in front with Im Rocknroll Magic ($12) in the breeze. Taroona Bromac was tailed of a distant last. Alta Rhett held on grimly to hold on and defeat $34 outsider Black Jack Zac by a head, with $41 outsider Extreme Prince finishing strongly from sixth at the bell to be a nose away in third place. Mister Ardee came from three back on the pegs with an inside run to be a good fourth.   Taroona Bromac, who had begun brilliantly when an impressive all-the-way winner at Gloucester Park on Wednesday afternoon, made up ground to finish ninth. Reinsman Ryan Warwick explained that Taroona Bromac had himself to blame. “He is too big and uncoordinated,” Warwick said. “He did it on Wednesday (getting away fast) and was trying to do it even quicker tonight. But he couldn’t.”   by Ken Casellas

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have come up with a range of best bets for Friday night’s card at Gloucester Park. Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart, the leader in the Guild’s tipping competition, is keen on Star Fromthepalace in race seven. “Star Fromthepalace is a high-class filly who has come back in great order,” Wishart said. “Simply excels as a frontrunner and from the pole should lead all the way.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has made Patrickthepiranha his best bet for the night. “Patrickthepiranha can bounce back into the winners’ list after running a game second when he faced the breeze last Friday night,” Manning said. “The Colin Brown-trained four-year-old showed his class when he set the pace and won a fortnight earlier. Patrickthepiranha has raced in strong company for much of his career, but his tally is a creditable 12 wins and eight places from 30 starts.” Veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas believes Mister Bushido can deliver for punters. “Seven-year-old Mister Bushido is enjoying his best season and he’s my best bet this week when he starts from the No. 3 barrier in race two at Gloucester Park on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He maintained his sound form last week when he finished solidly from sixth at the bell to be third behind the speedy Roman Art.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is confident J B Mauney can continue on his winning ways. “J B Mauney has been in sparkling form off handicaps recently and will be the one to beat again here,” Havercroft said. “Just four days ago he cruised to victory in the Group 3 Don Randall Memorial Handicap at Pinjarra in a dominant display.” Longshot guru Pat Harding is firmly in the corner of Blue Chip Adda. “Should be a fascinating night this Friday at GP,” Harding said. “Hopefully, not to many short-priced favourites will make for some competitive racing. My best bet come up in race seven with Blue Chip Adda coming out of barrier two. She had a great win last week and I believe she’s well placed to make it two in a row.” Guild president Wayne Currall has opted for Mighty Conqueror as his star bet. “This year’s WA Pacing Cup winner has had two runs back from a spell and should be approaching peak fitness for Friday night’s assignment,” Currall said. “Mighty Conqueror is all class and Ryan Warwick has opted to jump in the bike in preference to five of his stablemates. That’s a good lead in itself. I think he’ll get the job done here.” VALUE BETS WARREN: Mister Ardee indicated a win might not be far away with a solid effort last week when placed behind Rocknroll Whitby. Hasn’t seen a low draw for nearly a year and sure to run a race at each-way odds. ERNIE: Im Rocknroll Magic has generally been out of luck when unplaced at his last five starts. He had difficulty getting clear in three of the races and was caught wide in another. The gelding came from a back-line draw and finished seventh last start. KEN: For value, I suggest Mighty Conqueror from barrier three in the fourth event. His two runs after a lengthy absence have been quite encouraging and he’s ready to return to the winning list. RYAN: Taroona Bromac showed a return to form on Wednesday here when zipping to the lead and holding off his rivals. Looks a chance in a race with little exposed form. PAT: My value bet comes up in race one with No. 4 - the Bond-trained Our Alfie Romeo. Five starts ago she had an excellent win and hasn't had a great deal of luck since then. However, I believe she can bounce back and give punters an excellent sight. WAYNE: Euphoric Moment put in a career-best effort a fortnight ago when second to Perfect Major in a slick mile rate of 1:55.5. He’s drawn to get the run of the race behind likely leader Triroyale Brigade and can salute at each-way odds. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

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