Day At The Track

Reed rejuvenates The Art Form

10:46 AM 15 Apr 2016 NZST
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The Art Form
The Art Form

Henley Brook harness racing trainer Mike Reed has revealed that a phone call to New Zealand and heeding the advice of The Art Form’s previous trainer Steven Reid has resulted in a transforming the colt into a “different” horse with a strong winning chance in the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

And Reed threw down the gauntlet to the opposition in the 2536m Derby when he declared that his son Mark would set the pace from the No. 4 barrier.

“The Art Form has got gate speed and he will be leading,” the trainer said. “He will be coming out to lead and he will not surrender the lead.

“I wasn’t satisfied with his most recent run (when he led and wilted to fourth behind Chicago Bull in the 2536m Western Gateway Pace last Friday week). He was a little disappointing.

“I then spoke to Steven Reid, who advised me not to start the colt in successive weeks. He said that you just can’t race him week to week. When I got the horse from New Zealand I gave him a trial and raced him in the next two weeks. Stephen advised me to race him with a fortnight between runs.

“So that’s what we’ve done. I kept the work up to him and now he feels a different horse. In New Zealand he was a leader. He led over there and won, going 1.53 and a bit. I think he can cross the three runners on his inside on Friday night and I think he can beat the favourite.

“At his last start in New Zealand he finished third behind Lazarus and Lets Chase The Dream after giving them a start. We’ve got the advantage in the draw over Lets Chase The Dream this week and we’ve got to make the most of that.”

Mike and Mark Reed will be attempting to win the WA Derby for the third time. They combined to win the classic with Tricky Vic in 2002 and Ace of Spades the following year.

Chicago Bull, prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and driven by star reinsman Gary Hall jun., will be attempting to stretch his winning sequence to six, a task well within the capabilities of the gelding, according to Hall jun.

“Chicago Bull is going really well --- and he needs to be,” Hall said. “It’s difficult to predict what horse will lead. I’ll be going forward from barrier six. I can’t let Lets Chase The Dream to settle in front of me. I’d say that Chris (Lewis) will press forward from barrier seven.

“I’d say the winner will probably come from Chicago Bull, Chase The Dream and Sprinter, with Cant Refuse and Dodolicious also having sound claims. They’re the only realistic chances.”

Hall also said that Chicago Bull’s stablemate Mach Time, to be driven by Clint Hall, would go forward at the start from the No. 5 barrier.”

Mach Time showed that he should be prominent in this week’s classic when he finished second to Lets Chase The Dream in a Derby prelude last Friday night. He settled in fifth position before dashing forward, three wide, after a lap to race outside the pacemaker Franco Rayner. Mach Time burst to the front in the final circuit and led by two lengths 150m from the post before being overhauled by the fast-finishing Lets Chase The Dream.

Hall sen. and Gary hall jun. have combined to win the WA Derby with odds-on favourites Alta Christiano in 2013 and Beaudiene Boaz last year.

Dodolicious, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is the only filly in the field and she should enjoy an ideal passage after starting from barrier two on the back line. The most recent Derby win by a filly was in 1991 when Rod Chambers drove Whitbys Miss Penny to victory over the Sleek Byrd and Smooth Business. Since then, only two fillies have been placed --- Dilingers Reign in 2006 and Tricky Styx last year.

Ken Casellas

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