Day At The Track

Jack Mac Poised for eight in a row

04:53 PM 24 May 2018 NZST
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Jack Mac,Harness racing
Jack Mac

Jack Mac has revealed freakish ability to score effortless victories at his seven starts in Western Australia and the outstanding harness racing colt should have little difficulty in retaining this unbeaten record by outclassing his rivals in the inaugural Pearl Classic for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Among those seven wins were the Group 1 features, the Pearl Classic for two-year-olds and the Golden Slipper last year.

Trained at Busselton by Barry Howlett, Jack Mac has the class to win at his first appearance since he romped to a five-length victory over 2185m at Pinjarra on January 22 when he sped over the final 400m in 27.1sec. That was his first outing since he easily beat Cott Beach in the Golden Slipper six months earlier.

Jack Mac has had one trial since his latest success when he surged home from last in a six-horse to win easily from Rosies Ideal in a 2100m hit-out at Bunbury on March 21. He revealed his characteristic brilliance in dashing over the final quarter in 27.2sec.

Remarkably, Jack Mac has not tasted defeat in seven race starts and five trials in WA after being unplaced at his five starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand. It is worth pointing out that Jack Mac raced against the best two-year-olds in New Zealand in those appearances.

Howlett picked out and purchased Jack Mac as a weanling in New Zealand and the colt now has earned $190,912. He has been handled in all his WA starts by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who is sure to take full advantage of the colt’s favourable barrier at No. 2 on the front line in the $50,000 classic over 2130m.

Howlett, who races Jack Mac in partnership with his wife Lyn and their son Jim, has a good second string in Friday night’s classic in another Mach Three New Zealand-bred colt Robshaw, who is handily drawn on the inside of the back line. He will be driven by Aiden de Campo.

Robshaw has raced only twice for a four-length victory over Bejewelled at Bunbury on May 5 and a solid second to Our Corelli over 2185m at Pinjarra on May 14 when he had a tough run in the breeze for much of the journey.

The New Zealand-bred Our Corelli impressed at his second start when he finished strongly for trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice to come from sixth at the bell to beat Robshaw by just over a length.

War Club, trained by John Graham and driven by Morgan Woodley, is in good form and should be prominent from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line. War Club is expected to enjoy a perfect trip behind the likely pacemaker Jack Mac.

War Club followed an all-the-way win at Pinjarra on April 30 with an eye-catching second to stablemate Mister Spot on the same track two weeks later when he surged home from eighth at the bell.

Mister Spot, the most experienced runner in Friday night’s race with 21 starts for four wins and five placings, will be driven by Dean Miller and should race in a prominent position after starting from barrier two on the back line.

Byford trainer David Thompson is pleased with the progress shown by Liam Neil, who has won at three of his five starts as a three-year-old, including a smart last-start victory when he rattled home from the rear at the bell to beat Itsnotova over 2185m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago.

Liam Neil, who will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from barrier five, warmed up for this week’s event in fine style with a narrow victory over Lucky Sensation in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when he sped over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 27.6sec.

Ken Casellas

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