Day At The Track

Gloucester Park review

12:34 PM 03 Aug 2020 NZST
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Gloucester Park,Harness racing

While They Pray triumphs

While They Pray, described by champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr as a lunatic who is gradually getting more sensible, gave further proof that he has the ability to develop into a contender for rich feature events at the summer carnival when he won the group 3 $30,000 Kerry Clarke Four And Five-Year-Old Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“He went super, and it all worked out perfectly,” said Hall. “It felt like that he was always going to get there. He likes a fight and on the line he felt like he could have gone another lap.

“I don’t know why he’s got such strength. He didn’t handle our work when we had him (as an unraced two-year-old and early three-year-old). Michael George works him off the jogger and he doesn’t work him that hard on the track. It’s hat’s off to him; he’s obviously found the key to the horse who is a bit tricky.

“While They Pray has always been quite a handful and even now one of his unusual characteristics is that he won’t go near the swab box, and if he does he’s likely to freak out (in the confined space).”

While They Pray is raced on lease by Michael George, who prepares the WA-bred four-year-old at Pinjarra, was favourite at $1.30, with Rock Me Over ($4.80) and Pierre Whitby ($8) the only other runners quoted at shorter than $23 in Friday night’s feature event.

While They Pray revealed his usual sparkling gate speed from barrier five but was unable to burst past the five-year-old Rock Me Over (barrier four). Hall wisely elected to take the sit with While They Pray behind Rock Me Over after 250m before he eased the gelding off the pegs at the bell.

Then Rock Me Over and While They Pray surged away from the opposition and the third quarter of the final mile whizzed by in 27.6sec., with Rock Me Over keeping his rival at bay. Finally, While They Pray forged to the front on the home turn and went on to win by just under a length, rating 1.55.1 over the 2130m. Pierre Whitby, who raced in third position throughout, fought on to be third, just ahead of the strong-finishing The Verandah. Bolta ($81) did a good job to run on solidly from last at the bell to be fifth.

While They Pray certainly has gone ahead in leaps and bounds since George prepared him for his first couple of starts (as a three-year-old) early last year when the gelding was successful in modest company at Williams and Collie.

While They Pray now has earned $116,490 from 14 wins and eight placings from 30 starts. By Alta Christiano, While They Pray is the second foal out of the Bettors Delight mare Slick Bird, who had 34 starts for ten wins, nine placings and $89,999 for leading trainer Gary Hall snr.

Slick Bird’s first foal is Slick Artist, who has earned $175,670 from 11 wins and 22 placings from 58 starts. Slick Artist had 18 starts in WA for six wins and six placings before being sold to race in America.


Chicago Bull survives a scare

Champion pacer Chicago Bull narrowly avoided disaster when rank outsider Saleahs Comand galloped badly about 75m after the start of the 1730m TABtouch Race Replays Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Chicago Bull, the $1.04 favourite, was working his way forward from the outside barrier in the field of six when Saleahs Comand ($81) broke into a fierce gallop soon after passing the winning post in the early stages of the 1730m event and veered up the track, causing Gary Hall jnr to take evasive action and switch Chicago Bull out four and five wide on the track.

Meanwhile Chiaroscuro was setting a fast pace from Ideal Liner and the first 400m section of the final mile went by in a slick 28.3sec. Chicago Bull lost valuable ground before Hall drove the little gelding forward to take the lead with 1100m to travel.

After a second quarter of a moderate 29.7sec., Chicago Bull dashed over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 27.2sec. to win easily at a 1.53.7 rate, beating Chiaroscuro by two lengths, with Ideal Liner fighting on to be third.

“It was just one of those things,” said a relieved Hall. “There’s always a spanner in the works, and it depends on what size it is. This caused me to take a bit longer to get to the front. I had to get around the galloping horse and I had to open Chicago Bull up because I was so far off them --- and they were already running. The first quarter was 28.3sec. and we would have run it pretty fast.

“Chicago Bull was really sharp tonight, which was good. When I asked him to go, he really wanted to.”

This was Chicago Bull’s sixth win from nine starts over 1730m at Gloucester Park and it took his record to 52 wins and 22 placings from 80 starts for earnings of $1,868,306.


A first for Young

Talented driver Jocelyn Young notched a significant achievement when she drove skilfully to land Has No Fear an impressive winner of the 2130m Better Your Club With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Has No Fear’s fast-finishing defeat of A Boy Named Rosie gave Young her first success in a city-class event as a trainer of a pacer. Her only other metropolitan-class winner as a trainer was with square gaiter Im Not Eyre, who finished fast to beat the pacemaker Tenno Sho in a 2503m stand last November.

“I haven’t had many metro starters,” said Young, who is increasing her involvement as a trainer and now is preparing six horses from her grandparents’ farm in Pinjarra.

Four-year-old Has No Fear was an $8.70 chance from the inside of the back line on Friday night and Young bided her time with the mare, who enjoyed a good trip three back on the pegs in fifth position while the $3.40 favourite Sightseeing Anvil was setting a solid pace, with Talkerup ($6.50) in the breeze.

Has No Fear was sixth at the 400m, was eased off the pegs with 220m to travel and finished strongly from fifth at the 50m mark to get up and win by a neck from A Boy Named Rosie ($4.40), with Talkerup in third place.

“I knew that I could come off the pegs down the back, but I wasn’t sure that I might run into a dead-end, so I decided to be patient and wait,” Young said. “So, turning for home I knew I could get off and it was just a matter of still being patient and gently easing out.

“Hass No Fear now goes up a grade, but I’m sure she will be competitive.”

Has No Fear, originally raced by a Trotsynd syndicate and trained by Justin Prentice, gave Young her first group 1 success when she drove the pacer to victory over Delightfulreaction and Majorpride in the WA Oaks in May 2019. She then had a losing sequence of 15 when she joined Young’s stable four months ago, and on Friday night was having her eighth start for her new trainer.

“Trotsynd was looking to move Has No Fear on because the syndicate felt she was on her mark,” explained Young. “She was going to go to an APG sale, but then Duro (Margaretic) decided that he would like to buy her, and he bought Trotsynd out and some members of Trotsynd bought back in, and she came to me.”

Has No Fear now has earned $210,758 from eight wins and 13 placings from 42 starts.


Boom Time set for rich feature

Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred six-year-old Boom Time will be set for the $50,000 San Simeon Classic next Friday night after impressing with a convincing victory in the 2130m Off The Track Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“That’s his mission,” said Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri. “And I also will be setting Just Wing It for that event.”

Boom Time, who had been unlucky at several previous starts, was excellent value at $7.90 from barrier No. 4, with stablemate Just Wing It a hot favourite at $1.40 from the more favourable barrier at No. 2.

Just Wing It, driven by Chris Lewis, took the lead 120m after the start and set a moderate pace, with opening quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.5sec., with Chris Voak enjoying an ideal passage in sixth position in the one-wide line with Boom Time.

Boom Time was still sixth with 300m to travel and moved forward to fourth, four wide, on the home turn before sustaining his strong finishing burst to win by almost a length from Just Wing It, rating 1.58.1. Art Tutor fought on to be a good third after working hard in the breeze all the way.

“Boom Time went really well,” said Olivieri. “He’s been looking for an opportunity, but he hasn’t had it for about three or four runs.” Boom Time, a winner at two of his five starts in New Zealand, raced seven times in Victoria for three wins and three seconds, and his 11 WA starts have produced three wins and a second placing. ONE


Spell for The Good Life     

Smart two-year-old The Good Life has earned a well-deserved break from racing after scoring an effortless victory in the $14,400 Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Second favourite at $4.90, The Good Life showed his class by sprinting home powerfully, out three wide, from ninth at the bell to win by ten metres from Star Of Willoughby ($18), with Arma Einstein ($15) a good third.

Otis, the $1.90 favourite from the No. 2 barrier, was beaten for the early lead by $16 chance Powerplay and he wilted to fifth after enduring a tough run in the breeze.

The Good Life was restrained to the rear from the outside barrier (No. 9) before Michael Grantham, replacing trainer Aiden de Campo (under suspension), sent the Mach Three colt forward, three wide, approaching the bell. His run was followed by Robbie Rocket, who battled on gamely to finish fourth. The Good Life was not extended after bursting to the front 400m from home.

“He will go out for six weeks now,” said de Campo. “He has been up for a while and has been in all the big races (for two-year-olds). He’s not a racehorse yet, and when they were running quick quarters in those races, he was getting a bit lost.

“And on his work at home I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t finish a bit closer in the big races. I changed a bit of gear with him and smartened him up a bit at home. So, it’s now for a spell and I’ll bring him back for the three-year-old races next season.

“The WA Derby is his target, but there’s a really good crop of rising three-year-olds, and there haven’t been any imports yet.

“From the outside barrier tonight, the plan was to drop out. He gets a bit keen in the breeze, so we went back with him. His speed is his best asset, but he showed a bit of toughness tonight. I’ve always been confident that he will be a nice horse. Before winning at his past two starts his only other win was when he beat Mighty Ronaldo. He’s always had the ability but hasn’t had the race smarts.”

The Good Life, purchased for $57,500 at the 2019 APG yearling sale, has raced ten times for three wins, two placings and $25,622 in stakes. By Mach Three, The Good Life is the second foal out of Artistic Copper, whose first foal Some Copper Beach has earned $83,116 from seven wins and five placings from 20 starts.


Eighth win for Fifty Five Reborn

Fifty Five Reborn reinforced her standing as one of the State’s best three-year-old fillies when she gave a powerful performance to win from Miss Eerie and Askmeilltellya in the 2130m Better Your Industry With TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

This gave the Renaissance Man filly her eighth win from 20 starts and boosted her earnings to $91,946.

Fifty Five Reborn, a $7 chance from the outside barrier (No. 9) was restrained back to last in the field of 12 before her trainer Colin Brown sent her forward, three wide, after a lap to sit outside the pacemaker and $4 favourite Miss Eerie before taking a narrow lead 450m from home. She then fought on tenaciously to defeat Miss Eerie by a head, with Askmeilltella ($6) surging home from seventh at the bell to be a half-head away in third place.

The win was some compensation for Fifty Five Reborn’s unlucky eighth behind Star Of Diamonds at her previous outing when she was checked and broke 200m from home.

“She was going to run third before the interference,” said Brown. “Before tonight’s race I wasn’t sure whether she was ready for the paddock or had just become more dour. I was none the wiser after we tracked her, so we made the decision to put her into the race tonight and put the pressure on them (the opposition) and find out.

“I still had to ask her to go to the breeze. She’s done a mighty job and deserves a spell. She will have four weeks off and then come back and race for some more three-year-old bonus money before Christmas.”

Fifty Five Reborn’s win on Friday night came the race after her two-year-old full brother Arma Einstein had finished an excellent third behind The Good Life.

“His work was better than Fifty Five Reborn’s during the week and I’m looking forward to next season with him,” Brown said. “I think he will develop into a really nice horse.”


Our Rhythm N Blues breaks through

New  Zealand-bred six-year-old Our Rhythm N Blues, with one victory from his previous 28 starts, bounced back to winning form when he gave a spirited display to beat Madame Meilland and The Black Cardinal in the 2130m Community TAB Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

A well-supported $3.60 chance from barrier two on the back line, Our Rhythm N Blues raced in seventh position in the one-wide line before Gary Hall jnr sent him forward, three wide, approaching the bell. He overhauled the pacemaker Jilliby Jake 270m from home and raced away to win by one and a half lengths at a 1.56.7 rate.

“I thought I’d got to the front too early, but he just kept going and ran away from them,” said Hall. “He surprised me a lot. But it was a pleasant surprise. He’s always thereabouts and is a horse you would love to own.”

Our Rhythm N Blues, prepared by Gary Hall snr, has raced 73 times for ten wins, 26 placings and $140,656 in prizemoney. He had 38 starts in New Zealand for five wins and 12 placings and his 35 WA starts have produced five wins and 14 placings.


Kiwi Bloke is a stand specialist

Kiwi Bloke gave owner Merv Butterworth, trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak a double when he proved too strong for his rivals and scored an easy win in the TABtouch Giddyup Premium Form Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

They had combined earlier in the night to win with Boom Time.

Olivieri produced Kiwi Bloke, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old in splendid condition for his first-up all-the-way victory over Im Rocknroll Magic and Major Shard.

“His work at home has been exceptional,” said Olivieri. “He probably needed the run and will improve on tonight’s effort. I’ll probably stick with stands with him because he’s such a good beginner. With some horses, you throw away that advantage by putting them in mobiles.”

Indeed, Kiwi Bloke has proved to be a standing-start specialist. He has raced 35 times for seven wins, seven placings and $49,640. Twenty-two of his starts have been in stands for six wins.


Two doubles to Egerton-Green

Dylan Egerton-Green maintained his splendid form in the sulky when he drove two winners at Gloucester Park on Friday night and another two at Northam the following evening.

He caused a minor upset at Gloucester Park when he brought $10.40 chance and last-start winner Machs Gold home with a powerful burst to beat the $2.65 chance Robbie Easton and the fast-finishing $71 outsider Bad Round in the 2130m Download The TABtouch App Today Pace.

And then he finished the night on a high note by driving $1.50 favourite Mandy Joan to a runaway all-the-way victory in the TABtouch Pace for mares.

Mandy Joan also completed a training double for Aiden de Campo, who was successful in the opening event with The Good Life.

Mandy Joan is in a purple patch and has won in fine style at each of her past three starts to improve her record to 36 starts for 11 wins, nine placings and $130,660 in stakes.

Machs Gold, prepared at Byford by David Thompson, was the lone back-line runner and he raced in seventh position, four back on the pegs, before unwinding a spirited finishing burst.

At Northam on Saturday night Egerton-Green was successful behind $20 chance Brewery Lane and $3.50 favourite Newsletter.


Ken Casellas

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