Day At The Track

Sneakyn Down Under eyes another Porter Memorial

02:18 PM 14 Aug 2013 NZST
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Sneakyn Down Under
Sneakyn Down Under

The Howard Porter Memorial has been run 32 times and Sneakyn Down Under is the only horse to have won the group 3 event twice. Now part-owner, trainer-reinsman Darren Duffy is setting his sights on guiding the speedy ten-year-old to victory in the $35,000 race over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Sneakyn Down Under is handily drawn at barrier four on the front line and he appears to have excellent prospects of bursting to the front in the early stages.

He started from the outside of the back line and charged home from ninth at the bell to win the Porter Memorial from Indian Giver and Mysta Magical Mach in 2009. He did not contest the race in 2010 and 2011 before he began brilliantly from the No. 3 barrier, set a fast pace and romped home to win the 2012 Porter Memorial by three and a half lengths from Lombo Navigator.

Sneakyn Down Under showed a welcome return to form at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he set a fast pace from barrier two and was overhauled in the final couple of strides to finish a 1m second to the fast-finishing Has The Answers over 1730m. He had been unplaced at his previous nine starts.

Has The Answers, who started from the back line and charged to the front after 600m before winning the Porter Memorial from Tartary Gladiator in 2011, is nicely drawn on the inside of the back line in this week’s event. He will be driven by Morgan Woodley, who was in the sulky when successful in the Porter Memorial in 2011 and again last week.

Creating great interest will be the return to racing of top-flight pacer Lombo Navigator, who will start out wide at No. 5 on the front line at his first appearance since last February. Lombo Navigator finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Sneakyn Down Under in last year’s Porter Memorial. He was unlucky when eighth behind Has The Answers the previous year when he raced three back on the pegs and was hopelessly blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit.

Capel trainer Andrew De Campo has had the happy knack of producing Lombo Navigator in fine fettle for his first-up runs. Now a six-year-old, Lombo Navigator has raced first-up eight times in his 77-start career for three wins, three seconds, one third and one fifth placing.

Lombo Navigator, who will be driven by Matt White, contested a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week and finished solidly to be second, five length behind brilliant four-year-old Im Victorious, with the final 800m being covered in a sizzling 55.6sec. The Million To One gelding, with a splendid record of 24 wins and 26 placings and stakes of $547,449, is sure to have derived great benefit from that trial and should prove hard to beat.

Uppy Son, who maintained his excellent form with a strong third behind Has The Answers and Sneakyn Down Under last week, will start from barrier three on the back line, cannot be overlooked, and Franco Renegade, Shardons Rocket and Can Return Fire will have admirers from barriers one, two and three, respectively, on the front line.

Can Return Fire, to be driven by Colin Brown for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, extended his losing sequence to 30 last Friday night when fifth behind Has The Answers. He raced in seventh position before sprinting home fast, six wide, to finish only 2.2m from the winner.

The Tony Svilicich-trained Shardons Rocket, a stablemate of Has The Answers, has a losing sequence of 17. But he is capable of causing an upset. He started off the back mark of 40m in the 3309m Marathon Handicap last Friday night and fought on grandly to finish a 4m second behind Balleybofey after working hard in the breeze over the final 1400m.

SLICK CHAPEL SPARKLES AND IS READY TO RESUME IN STYLE

A sparkling trial in fast time at Byford last Sunday morning was convincing proof that Slick Chapel is ready to resume after a spell with a flourish by winning the 2536m Premier Suzuki Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has a high opinion of Slick Chapel, who has had a spell since he set a fast pace before wilting to finish sixth behind stablemate Alta Christiano in the WA Derby on April 19.

Slick Chapel, a New Zealand-bred three-year-old, has won three races at Gloucester Park and one at Bunbury this season. He will start from barrier four on the back line on Friday night, but has the class to overcome that draw. His main rival, Another Vinnie, will start from the outside of the back line and Rocky Marciano, a winner of six races this season, is unfavourably drawn on the outside (No. 7) of the front line.

Clint Hall drove Slick Chapel in Sunday morning’s 2150m trial in which the gelding rated 1.56.7 in winning by five lengths from Celtic Crusader. He sped over the final two 400m sections in 28.7sec. and 27.8sec. Hall will resume race driving next month and his brother Gary will be in the sulky on Friday night.

Another Vinnie, trained at Bunbury by Frank Bonnett, is the best-performed runner in the race and looks set to fight out the finish. Busselton reinsman Aaron Beckett understands the gelding perfectly and he has brought him home with powerful, well-time bursts from the rear to win most of his races.

He thundered home from tenth at the bell and sprinted over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to score an impressive victory over Truckers Buckeroo over 2100m at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park track last Saturday night. That took his record to 35 starts for 13 wins, 11 placings and earnings of $169,337.He surged home from last at the bell to win easily from Desgerrado and Big Ben Lombo at a 1.57.2 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park eight nights earlier.

Another Vinnie is one of six last-start winners in the race, the others being Soho Redford, Conniving Major Dave, Erskine Range, Big Ben Lombo and Bettor Giddyup.

Conniving Major Dave, a winner of three races in New Zealand, has impressed at his first two starts in Australia for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo. Driven by the trainer’s son Aiden, Conniving Major Dave enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back before dashing to the front 250m from home and winning easily from Arden Torres at a 1.59.6 rate at Bunbury last Saturday night. He raced without cover when a fighting first-up second to Boy O Boy on the same track the previous Saturday night.

WILLIAMS-TURVEY COMBINATION IS POISED TO STRIKE

The powerful combination of Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams and Baldivis reinsman Nathan Turvey have bright prospects of landing a double at Gloucester Park on Friday night with Pacific Warrior and Balleybofey.

The New Zealand-bred pacers are in top form and each looks certain to start a firm favourite. Pacific Warrior will start from the back line in the 2536m Nepean Conveyors Pace in which he will clash with the in-form Peter Anderson-trained Mighty Flying Thomas.

Pacific Warrior, who has had 46 starts for 16 wins and 12 placings, raced out of his class last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze outside the speedy Lucie Boshier before getting to the front on the home turn and then being beaten by the fast-finishing M3-class mare Leda McNally, who rated 1.56.7 over 2130m. He is sure to appreciate a return to an M1-class event this week.

Two starts ago Pacific Warrior finished powerfully out very wide on the track to snatch a thrilling victory in a three-way photo finish from Condrieu and Mighty Flying Thomas in the John Higgins Memorial. He looks set to develop into a contender for feature events in the summer months.

Seven-year-old Balleybofey looks one of the best bets on the ten-event program. He will start from barrier three on the front line in a 2503m stand, the Alltools Handicap. He looks the likely leader and should prove too strong for his ten rivals.

Balleybofey started off the front and dashed to the lead after 400m before setting a very solid pace on his way to scoring an easy 4m victory over Shardons Rocket in the 3309m Marathon Handicap. He is in the best form of his career, with wins at six of his past ten starts.

False Promise, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old in the stables of Greg and Skye Bond, has won at seven of his past 14 starts and appeals as one of Balleybofey’s main dangers.

Whos Mistake, Turismo and Strongbow Lombo, who will start off the 10m mark, have been racing keenly over the winter months and will have admirers. Polemarker Johnny Diamond has won in good style in stands at Bunbury at his past two outings and should also be prominent.

SPEEDY BULLDOZER MAKES STRONG APPEAL FROM GOOD DRAW

Noted frontrunner Bulldozer should appreciate a favourable draw and looks set to fight out the finish of the 2130m Yes Loans Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The six-year-old, trained at Banjup by Annie Belton, will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and Chris Lewis is likely to make use of his sparkling gate speed and make a bold bid for the early lead.

Polemarker Wrongly Accused (Dylan Egerton-Green) possesses good early pace, but it is problematic whether he will be able to muster enough speed to hold out Bulldozer in the early stages.

Bulldozer started from the inside of the back line in a 2130m event last Friday night and did not get clear until the late stages, when he finished full of running to be third behind Leda McNally and Pacific Warrior.

Bulldozer, a former Victorian pacer, was a winner six starts ago when he led and defeated Taiaha over 2536m in mid-April.

The Andrew De Campo-trained Harrison Maguire, a winner of five races in New Zealand and two in New South Wales, adds considerable interest to the race. He will start from the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Aiden De Campo could attempt to take an early lead with the Christian Cullen gelding who possesses good gate speed.

Harrison Maguire started from the outside of the back line and was a 77/1 outsider on the tote at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he raced in seventh position on the pegs before finishing solidly to be fourth behind Leda McNally at his third start in Western Australia. He will be at considerably shorter odds this week.

by Ken Casellas

 

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