Day At The Track

Gloucester Park review

01:17 PM 21 Sep 2020 NZST
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Gloucester Park,Harness racing

Chicago Bull excites Hall

“That was probably his best run since he was injured almost two years ago,” said jubilant reinsman Gary Hall jnr after driving the rising eight-year-old champion Chicago Bull to a runaway victory in the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Chicago Bull began speedily from barrier four but was unable to wrest the lead from Galactic Star and was forced to work in the breeze before getting to the front 550m from home and then racing away to win by three and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Bletchley Park.

“I know how good he is and how good he has been in the past,” said Hall. “And this is the first time since his injury that he has excited me. He felt tonight like he did before the injury.

“It’s pretty exciting. I thought he could win, sitting in the breeze. To me, Chicago Bull now feels more switched on and better in the breeze than in front. In front, I’ve got to keep at him all the time to let him know that we’ve got to get going. But that’s not saying I wouldn’t be happy to be the leader.”

Chicago Bull’s great career was in doubt in Auckland in October 2018 when he flipped over backwards when being treated and fell on his back, suffering six vertebrae in his wither.

This freak accident happened the day after Chicago Bull gave a magnificent performance to win a 2200m standing-start event at Alexandra Park when he galloped from the back mark of 20m and settled down 15 lengths from the leader Jack’s Legend before dashing forward to move to the breeze with just over a lap to travel. Chicago Bull went on to win by two and a half lengths from Jack’s Legend, rating 1.57.7, with a final 800m of 54.2sec.

Hall said that Chicago Bull’s effort seven starts ago, when he beat Handsandwheels by a short half-head over 2536m had the effect of sharpening him up.

“He sat outside Handandwheels and went to the line on empty and just got up,” he said. “That really sharpened him up and really switched him on, and I felt his two runs after that were really good.

“Last week, when Chicago Bull was chasing Shockwave and I really had to drive him out to the line obviously worked again and switched him on. He was sharpened up again when he worked on the track on Wednesday.”

Chicago Bull was off the scene for seven months after his injury --- and since resuming he has had 23 starts for 15 wins, six seconds, one third and one fourth placing. He now has had 84 starts for 55 wins and 23 placings for earnings of $1,938,531 and Hall is looking forward keenly to the champion contesting the Fremantle Cup and WA pacing Cup early next year against horses of the calibre of Shockwave, Mighty Conqueror and Galactic Star.

Chicago Bull’s victory on Friday night was his 50TH at Gloucester Park and his third in a Navy Cup. It also gave Hall his fifth success in the Navy Cup and champion trainer Gary Hall snr a record seventh win in the race.

Chicago Bull’s victory gave Hall jnr the first leg of a treble. He also was successful with Sir Galahad and Blissfullabbey.

The injury-plagued Sir Galahad ($3.60) enjoyed the perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position before charging home to score an easy victory over Rakasinc ($5.50) and the pacemaker Lord Rosco ($3.60) in the 2130m Simmonds Steel Pace. Six-year-old Sir Galahad has raced only 17 times for ten wins, four placings and $86,261 in stakes.

This gave Gary Hall snr the third leg of a treble, following the wins of Chicago Bull and Eloquent Mach. Hall watched his runners from his home where he is recovering from surgery on Thursday night to cure problems caused by a crushed nerve at the rear of his neck.

Blissfullabbey, part-owned and trained by Chris Willis, was a $2.40 chance from barrier No. 1 in the Catalano Truck And Equipment Pace and she maintained her excellent form with an all-the-way victory.

Blissfullabbey was not challenged in the lead and enjoyed leisurely opening quarters of the final mile in 32sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 27.8sec. and holding on to defeat $11 chance Euphoric Moment by a nose after she had trailed the pacemaker throughout.


Madeleine, a capable substitute

Part-owner and trainer Jocelyn Young didn’t have to look far to engage a driver for her smart mare Has No Fear in the Seven West Media Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when she was committed to act as a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding in Baldivis.

She called on her sister Madeleine to drive the four-year-old --- and Madeleine, who had never handled the mare in a race or in trackwork, gave a polished display to land Has No Fear, a $12.30 chance, a fast-finishing, last-stride winner over the $2.25 favourite Just Makemine Diamonds.

Has No Fear was awkwardly drawn at barrier six, but Madeleine quickly positioned her in the one-out and two-back position, with Just Makemine Diamonds setting the pace after a lead time of 37sec., followed by comfortable opening quarters of 31.3sec. and 29sec.

“It all worked out well for me,” said Madeleine Young. “When I pulled Has No Fear out (three wide with 450m to travel) she really exploded.”

The final 800m was covered in 57.6sec. and Has No Fear rated 1.57 over the 2130m. Delightfulreaction (third) and Queen Shenandoah (fourth) finished strongly out wide.

Has No Fear has bounced back to top form and has won at three of her past six starts, following a losing run of 22. She has earned $232,363 from ten wins and 14 placings from 47 starts.


Hynam’s memorable week

Byford trainer Craig Hynam completed a memorable week when veteran pacer A Boy Named Rosie scored a convincing victory in the 2130m Direct Trades Supply Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to end a losing sequence of 24.

This followed a surprise victory by $28.10 outsider Sarge at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon which broke the five-year-old gelding’s losing run of 27.

Shannon Suvaljko took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier to guide nine-year-old A Boy Named Rosie ($4.10) to an all-the-way win at a 1.57.4 rate. The gelding dashed over the final 400m in 28.6sec. and finished a length in front of Rocknroll Whitby ($8), with Jack William ($7) a neck farther back in third place.

Suvaljko’s daughter Emily lodged a protest, alleging interference in the home straight from Rocknroll Whitby, who was driven by her uncle Callan Suvaljko. The stewards upheld the protest and elevated Jack William to second place. They ruled that Rocknroll Whitby shifted out with about 100m to travel, forcing Jack William up the track and then becoming unbalanced and breaking gait.


Callan Suvaljko was suspended for 14 days for causing interference.

A Boy Named Rosie’s win gave Hynam his first success in a city-class event since the gelding won by a head from Rocknroll Lincoln on March 29, 2018. This also was A Boy Named Rosie’s first win since he scored from Lightning Jolt at Pinjarra on August 12, 2019.

Hynam, who races A Boy Named Rosie in partnership with his partner Courtney Burch, has never lost faith in the gelding.

“I love him and he’s my mate,” he said. “He has been racing well; just check his past few runs, and he’s been running second last and breaking 27sec. quarters. It’s all a matter of barriers, and from No. 1 tonight he got his chance. I don’t work him hard and just keep him happy.”

A Boy Named Rosie, who won four times in New Zealand when driven by Dexter Dunn, enjoys racing and has earned $191,615 from 18 wins and 30 placings from 140 starts. He has had 77 starts for Hynam for five wins and 16 placings.

Hynam, who works as a furniture removalist, said that Sarge, a five-year-old Art Major gelding, had a lot more ability than he has shown. “We got a bit lucky at Pinjarra on Monday when the No. 1 horse (Beaudiene Western) was scratched and then we were able to come home along the sprint lane,” he said.


 Eloquent Mach shines

Young reinsman Stuart McDonald was effusive in his praise of Eloquent Mach after driving the New Zealand-bred four-year-old to a brilliant victory in the 2536m Westral Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“He felt like his old self, like he was as a three-year-old and an early four-year-old, winning the Western Gateway, the Marathon and the Binshaw last year,” he said.

“He didn’t feel right and wasn’t himself at his last preparation. But now he’s certainly hitting his straps and he’s going to be better for the run.

“I was surprised that he was such a good price ($3.30). Just look at his scalps. He raced against Major Trojan (the 2019 WA Derby winner) four times and beat him three times, and he’s beaten horses of the calibre of Franco Edward, Patrickthepiranha and Convert Denario.”

Stablemate Extreme Prince, the $3 favourite from the No. 1 barrier, led early before Nathan Turvey set $34 chance Carter Micheal alight from the outside barrier (No. 9) and burst to the front after 250m.

Eloquent Mach started from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and settled down in eighth position before an aggressive McDonald urged the gelding forward to assume control after 950m. After the race McDonald pleaded guilty to having forced Braeview Bondi wide leaving the back straight in the first lap and was suspended for seven days.

Braeview Bondi (Michael Grantham) had a tough run in the breeze outside of Eloquent Mach and did well to finish fourth, just behind Carter Micheal and Jimmy Mach.

Brett Smith, who drove Burning Rubber, was suspended for ten days for having caused interference to Always Arjay and Quick Stride leaving the back straight then first time.

Eloquent Mach, prepared by Gary Hall snr, has amassed $192,026 from 13 wins and six placings from just 29 starts and is developing into a strong candidate for the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup early next year.


Spell for Henrik Larsson

Powerful colt Henrik Larsson gave further proof that he should develop into a leading candidate for the rich classics for four-year-olds early next year when part-owner and trainer Luke Edwards drove him to an easy victory in the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Described by Edwards as “a big ball of muscle,” Henrik Larsson, the $1.40 favourite, cruised to the front after 400m and  relished his frontrunning role as he won by just over three lengths from Soho Hamilton ($4.20) and Little Bitof Fun ($26). He rated a smart 1.56.3.

“He will go to the paddock next week for a spell, and then come back into work after October to be prepared for the big races in the new year,” Edwards said.

Henrik Larsson, unraced as a two-year-old, remains unbeaten in four starts as a three-year-old for Edwards.

“He’s a very exciting horse and has done everything we have asked of him,” said Edwards. “Each run he’s getting keener and keener and learning what’s the game all about.

“He has shown a lot of improvement. When he arrived from New Zealand, I told the owners that he would have to have a couple of educational trials to teach him what it is all about. He’s learning on the run and has come a long way in a short time. He’s carving out the mile rates under his own steam.

“He did a good job tonight to hold on after the quick lead time (36.2sec.).”  


Bettor Beach Belle too strong

Memories of Terry Ferguson training and driving Art On The Beach to an all-the-way victory in the group 2 WA Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies in February 2007 were revived when her eighth foal Bettor Beach Belle led and won the 2130m Nova 93.7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Ferguson bred, owns and trains Bettor Beach Belle, the $2.90 second favourite who was driven confidently by Nathan Turvey and won by more than a length from the $2.25 favourite Letsdancetonight, who raced without cover early and then enjoyed the one-out, one-back trail before finishing determinedly.

Bettor Beach Belle is a half-sister to six winners, including Swagga, who won the Pearl Classic by eleven lengths from Mister Jadore in June 2013 and was forced into an early retirement after his 16 starts produced three wins, ten placings and $102,655 in stakes.

Other prominent progeny of Art On The Beach include Rocknroll Beachboy (91 starts for eight wins, 27 placings and $70,931) and Major Artist (45 starts for seven wins, 15 placings and $54,299).


Mattjestic Star ends long losing run

Veteran pacer Mattjestic Star ended a losing sequence of 29 (which included just one minor placing) when he was a solidly supported $2.40 favourite and was driven by Shannon Suvaljko to an all-the-way victory in the 2130m Choices Flooring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

He had been unplaced at his 13 previous starts and was at odds of $34, £71 and $51 at his past three outings for Wanneroo part-owner and trainer Julie O’Neill.

But a drop in class, an ideal barrier at No. 2 and a smart trial run at Byford the previous Sunday were major factors in his improved performance.

He led and finished a short half-head second to Mister Bushido in the 2150m Byford trial in which he rated 1.57.5

On Friday night, the nine-year-old New South Wales-bred Mattjestic Star bowled along at a strong pace and rated an excellent 1.55.8 to win by four lengths from $4.60 chance Crocodile Kid, who battled on gamely after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back.

A winner of 14 races in NSW Mattjestic Star has had 83 starts in Western Australia for five wins and 11 placings to take his career record to 163 starts for 19 wins, 34 placings and $170,084 in prizemoney.


The Bird Dance resumes in style

Talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old The Bird Dance resumed after an absence of 12 weeks in fine style with an impressive victory in the 2130m Allwood Stud farm Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The $3.90 second fancy, prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond and driven by star reinsman Ryan Warwick, overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier in the field of eight.

He settled down in seventh position, with the $2.15 favourite Roman Aviator setting the pace, before Warwick improved quickly to assume the favourable one-out, one-back position. He sprinted home strongly with a final quarter in 27.8sec. to win by a half-length at a 1.56.5 rate from Roman Aviator.

The Bird Dance boasts an outstanding record of 24 starts for 16 wins and one second placings for stakes of $114,532 and looks set for many more victories.


Bracken Sky on the way up

Former New South Wales pacer Bracken Sky is improving all the time according to his trainer Debbie Padberg, who races the five-year-old in partnership with her husband John and long-time stable clients Don and Adele Simmons.   

Bracken Sky, favourite at $2.30 and driven confidently by Dylan Egerton-Green from the coveted No. 1 barrier, led throughout in the 2130m Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace and won by a length from Bettorstartdreaming at a 1.57.4 rate. Space Junk trailed the pacemaker throughout and finished third.

A winner of ten races in NSW, Bracken Sky has had 35 starts for the Padberg stable for three wins and 12 placings. His win ended a losing sequence of 11 and came after excellent recent placings behind Patronus Star, Delightfulreaction and Eloquent Mach.

“He is improving all the time,” said Mrs Padberg. “He is learning how to race in Perth. All the do in Sydney is want to run the gate.”


Ken Casellas

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