Day At The Track

Lewis gives a valuable pointer

08:48 PM 23 Mar 2017 NZDT
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Chris Lewis
Lewis chose to drive Americanbootscoota in preference to Military Master.
Paceway Photography

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who has recently overtaken Ryan Warwick in the lead in the Statewide drivers’ premiership table, has given harness racing punters a strong lead by opting to handle Americanbootscoota in the Intersport Slater Gartrell Westbred final at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Lewis chose to drive Americanbootscoota in preference to Military Master. Those pacers and Mister Versace and Debt Free Charlie are sure to dominate the betting on the race.

In a qualifying heat of the Westbred Pace, Lewis drove Military Master (trained by Ross Olivieri) and Clint Hall was in the sulky behind Americanbootscoota (trained by Lewis’s wife Debra).

The Allamerican Ingot gelding started out wide at barrier seven and he raced three wide early before working hard in the breeze and fighting on grandly to be a neck second to Mister Versace. Military Master started from the back line and he sustained a strong three-wide burst from seventh at the bell to finish in third place.

Lewis drove Americanbootscoota for the first time in a race when the four-year-old started from the back line and raced in sixth position before finishing strongly to be second to Shardons Rocket over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Monday week.

Lewis has driven Military Master at 19 of the five-year-old’s 22 starts for five wins and seven placings. Chris Voak will drive Military Master on Friday night. The only previous time Voak has handled Military Master was in a WA Derby prelude in March 2015 when Military Master finished second to Kiwi Legend.

Mister Versace, a promising four-year-old trained by Annie Belton, is handily drawn at barrier four and Kim Prentice should have the gelding in a prominent position throughout. Mister Versace led from the No. 4 barrier and won from Americanbootscoota and Military Master in a qualifying heat of the Westbred Pace. He cannot be underestimated.

Ken Casellas

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