Day At The Track

Track specialist hard to beat

09:16 PM 24 Jun 2015 NZST
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Mark Reed - Has struck up a lethal combination with My Samantha Jane at Bunbury
Mark Reed - Has struck up a lethal combination with My Samantha Jane at Bunbury

Tough harness racing mare My Samantha Jane finished fourth at her race debut, as a two-year-old at Bunbury on July 6, 2013, but has not been beaten at her subsequent four appearances on the Donaldson Park track.

After wins at Bunbury in April and December last year and impressive victories at two starts on the track earlier this month she goes into the $25,000 final of the Nexans Olex Lombardo Mares Pace on Friday night with strong claims.

Prepared at Hazelmere by Mike Reed and driven by his son Mark, My Samantha Jane will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line.

She excels as a frontrunner and has been seen in the role of pacemaker at her past three starts --- for two wins over 2100m at Bunbury and over 1780m at Northam.

However, it is problematical whether Mark Reed will be able to send My Samantha Jane to an early lead this week, with Typhoon Tan and Pay Me Quick, both possessing good gate speed, drawn inside of her.

Jungle Jewel, who has finished strongly to be second at each of her past three starts, has drawn ideally on the inside of the front line.

She runs her best races when held up for a late burst and it is most likely that Ryan Warwick will be content to take a sit and rely on Jungle Jewel's powerful finish.

A victory by Jungle Jewel, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, would complete a significant week for the 36-year-old Warwick, who at Pinjarra on Monday landed a double with Change Stride and Swimbetweentheflags to bring up a century of winners for the season, the first time he has achieved that notable feat.

My Samantha Jane and Jungle Jewel look set to dominate betting, but back-line runners Hidden Bad, Hoylakes Firstlady and Where Dreams Grow are in fine form and will have many admirers.

Hidden Bad, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, has had 18 starts in Western Australia for nine wins and five placings and her two appearances on the Bunbury track have resulted in convincing victories.

She enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to win by just over a length from the pacemaker Typhoon Tan over 2100m last Friday night.

Her four previous starts produced wins at Bunbury, Narrogin and Northam and a good second to Harper Grace at Northam.

Hoylakes Firstlady is overdue for a change of luck for Capel trainer-driver Aiden de Campo.

She has been placed at ten of her 19 starts this season and she should be prominent from the inside of the back line.

Where Dreams Grow has won at three of her past five starts and is proving a consistent and versatile performer for Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice.

Ken Casellas

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