Day At The Track

De Campo seeks his century

03:30 PM 04 Jul 2019 NZST
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Aiden De Campo,Harness racing

Aiden de Campo is driving in superb form and he hopes to notch his 100th winner of the season by guiding Some Copper Beach to victory in the $30,000 Gold Bracelet over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Some Copper Beach’s prospects improved significantly when she drew the prized No. 1 barrier in the Group 3 classic for two-year-old fillies.

“Her return to form last week when she finished strongly to be second to Double Expresso in the Group 1 Westbred Classic was encouraging,” de Campo said. “Drawing barrier one this week probably has given her a leg up on her rivals and that is hopefully what is going to make it our race.”

Some Copper Beach, a smart frontrunner, is prepared at Capel by de Campo’s father Andrew, who has trained and driven Kiwaussie Girl (1995) and Express Fire (1999) for wins in the Gold Bracelet. She is the daughter of Artistic Copper, who was prepared by de Campo Snr for her victory in the Group 1 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies in April 2013. 

Aiden de Campo drove Artistic Copper for two of her seven wins from 31 starts and he said that Some Copper Beach was a superior pacer.

“She’s as lot better than her mother and she likes to lead which will be the plan on Friday night,” he said. “She led (from barrier three) and won the de Campo Memorial for fillies at Bunbury early in May and she also led and won at Pinjarra earlier in the season.” Her other two wins came after she had raced in the breeze at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park.

“Some Copper Beach’s two previous runs before last Friday night’s second to Double Expresso were quite disappointing (sixths behind Askmeilltellya at Gloucester Park and behind Caveman at Pinjarra) and they left us scratching our heads,” Aiden de Campo said.

“But her return to form last week was encouraging. She had to do a lot of work early (three wide for the first 500m and in the breeze for the next 350m) and then had to come wide for her (finishing) run when she ran to the line good.

“It’s a super field this week and there’s probably not one filly in the race who wouldn’t have a chance from a favourable draw. It is a credit to the breeders and owners this year that the fillies are so strong.”

De Campo’s best season in an outstanding career was when he landed 101 winners a few years ago. He chalked up his 99th winner for the current season when he drove Walsh to an all-the-way victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. This came after he landed four winners (all prepared by his father) at Bunbury on Saturday night and a victory behind stablemate Just American at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.

“My best record was when I drove 101 winners about five or six years ago,” he said. “Hopefully, I can break that record this season. If I don’t, it will be a long couple of months.”

Ace trainer Colin Brown gives his filly Fifty Five Reborn a strong winning chance on Friday night. He has driven her at all of her six starts for two wins and a second placing, but has handed the drive to Dylan Egerton-Green.

“I’m having 12 days off, going to Exmouth and relaxing on Jim Currie’s boat,” Brown said. “We broke the filly in, and Dylan knows her well, having driven her in trackwork.

Fifty Five Reborn finished strongly to win at Pinjarra at Pinjarra three starts ago and followed that with an excellent win at Gloucester Park after working hard without cover. She started from barrier seven in last week’s Westbred Classic and was a most unlucky fourth behind Double Expresso.

“Her run last week was good,” said Brown. “We had a bit of pilot error. She has got ear plugs in because she can get a bit aggravated. However, soon after the start you have to get the plugs out because she relaxes too much with them in. We’ve also got a chord on the near-side Murphy blind, and clever me went to pull the plugs, but opened up the Murphy instead.

“Then I had to get the plugs out. Out wide, if she’s got a hole with the Murphy, she hangs down the track. And that’s what happened half-way down the back straight in the final lap when she picked up Aiden’s wheel. She did a huge job to run fourth.

“This week from barrier two, she’s got a definite winning chance. She can get away reasonably quickly, but I’m sure she won’t be able to cross Some Copper Beach. However, she should race in a prominent position and prove hard to beat.”

Brown, who is looking for his first training success in the Gold Bracelet, has tasted success in the classic, driving Five Hundred More to victory over Sovereign Beejay in 2004.

Star Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has high hopes of winning the Gold Bracelet for the third time in six years after preparing and driving Major Reality to victory in 2014 and Dracarys 12 months ago. He is pinning his faith in the highly-promising Suing You, who faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) on the front line.

Gary Hall Jnr will be in the sulky behind Suing You, who has been most impressive in her six starts for three wins, a second, a third and a last-start last behind Double Expresso last week.

“I think that Suing You is the best, or very close to the best two-year-old filly in the State,” Hall said. We’re not getting a lot of luck to prove that. If I had been able to get her out into the clear last week she probably would have nearly won.”

Suing You was shuffled back towards the rear with a lap to travel and was badly hampered for room in the final lap and was finishing resolutely when she broke into a gallop about 100m from the finish.

“If she had drawn anywhere near decent this week, I would have declared her,” Hall said. “But it is not impossible from nine; she’s obviously got to get some luck.”

Intheskyrocket, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, will have many admirers despite drawing the outside of the back line. She caught the eye when she surged home, three wide from the rear to finish an excellent second behind Double Expresso last Friday night. She was an impressive winner at her only two previous starts at Pinjarra in January and at Gloucester Park in mid-June.

Ken Casellas

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