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Darling Downs horseman Aldo Cortopassi is driving in wonderful form and looks set for a winning double at Gloucester Park on Friday night with Roman Aviator in race three and Shadow Roll in the seventh event. He trains Roman Aviator, who is sure to relish a perfect draw at barrier one on the front line in a 1730m sprint event. The five-year-old Roman Aviator has been plagued by unfavourable barriers in recent months but has performed creditably with third placings at three of his past five starts from barriers five, nine and eight. His most recent success was eight starts ago when he began from the No. 6 barrier as an 82/1 outsider. After racing wide in the early stages, Roman Aviator was restrained to the rear before moving forward in the middle stages to the one-out, one-back position. He then unleashed a powerful burst to hit the front in the final 50m and won from the fast-finishing Bettor Party at a 1.56.7 rate over 2130m. Roman Aviator is an excellent frontrunner and Cortopassi is sure to use this quality in a bid for an all-the-way success in a race in which he will clash with smart eight-year-old As Happy As Larry, who will be resuming after a six-month absence. As Happy As Larry, trained and driven by Robbie Williams, will start from barrier six and is capable of a bold first-up showing. Early this year he impressed with placings behind pacers of the calibre of Mighty Conqueror, Im Soxy and Warfare. His latest success was six starts ago when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to beat Lady De La Renta at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m early last April.    Shadow Roll, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, is a promising four-year-old who has had 14 starts for six wins and eight placings. He is ideally drawn at barrier two in the 1730m Westral Vertical And Panel Blinds Pace. Shadow Roll has resumed after a spell in fine style with a first-up Pinjarra victory followed by a close third behind Flying Mister Ideal over 2185m at Pinjarra and a wonderful second to Its Rock And Roll over 1684m on the same track. He was most impressive on Monday afternoon when he was eighth at the bell before finishing with a powerful burst to beat all but the stylish frontrunner Its Rock And Roll. The final quarters were run in 28.5sec. and 27.6sec.

It’s quite possible the best race on Friday night’s meeting is the last one. For those willing to stay up until 9.42, they are set to be treated to an outstanding three-year-old event, with six of the state’s best in that age group set to do battle. With rich Westsired and Westbred races just around the corner, this shapes up as one of the final chances for these three-year-olds to stake their claim for a slice of the lucrative prize pool. On paper, it appears as if the Justin Prentice or Colin Brown stable will take out the Team Trolio Harcourts Realty Pace (2130m). Prentice will be represented by Know When To Run and Back In Twenty, who have barrier one and four respectively. Know When To Run produced, arguably, the run of the night last Friday night when second to Gee Jay Kay, while Back In Twenty was third. Meanwhile, Brown has Its Rock And Roll and Patrickthepiranha engaged from barrier two and six respectively. Its Rock And Roll and Patrickthepiranha haven’t started since finishing second and fourth respectively to Theo Aviator in the Pearl Classic last month. It is that pacer, Theo Aviator, who will be out to bring about their undoing again this Friday night. The Aldo Cortopassi-trained and driven pacer has put together a sound record of 11 wins from 27 starts, with the Pearl success the main highlight. Theo Aviator has a tricky draw of barrier five to navigate from on Friday though, but Cortopassi said he would still look to roll forward into a prominent position. “We needed a run this week and it’s held together, which is good,” he told GPTV. “We knew we were going to draw badly on the preference win dollars. “We will put him up in the firing line early. “There is probably a chance we are going to have to do some work off the arm. “In a small field, if that happens, we might be a chance to drop in somewhere as well.” Galante, to start from barrier three, rounds out the six horse field for trainer Bryan Cousins and reinsman Kim Prentice. The Art Major gelding produced a strong performance last start on May 28 at Gloucester Park, where he sat in the breeze and wore down Our Virtuoso. Prior to that, Galante was unplaced behind Theo Aviator in the Pearl. Cousins said Galante deserved his standing as one of the outsiders in the race, but was hopeful he could produce another tough performance. “Everyone who has a three-year-old hopes they can progress through to the top grade,” he told GPTV. “He got through and competed in the Derby and some of the other feature three-year-old races, but he was just short of the really top class ones. “He’s been up for a while, but his last couple of starts have been pretty good. “It’s an intriguing race and how it’s going to be run. “I’m just hoping my horse can be really competitive and if he finishes first three I’ll be happy.” Know When To Run could be running to give Gary Hall Jnr his 150th winner for the season. The leading reinsman currently has 148 winners to his name this season and looks well poised to be among the winners this week.   Tim Walker

Last November, Racing and Wagering Western Australia implemented a new business model for Harness Racing in the state. The business model was introduced with a view towards ensuring there would be long term sustainability in the code. The new model, as a conditioned handicapping system, ensures horses that are successful as juveniles don’t enter the open class system as maidens and they race against horses in a similar class. While these horses that performed well at juvenile level can’t drop back to maiden races, the system still allows them to slowly work their way into open class. As a result, the new model looks to ensure competitive racing and a reduction in short price favourites. The new model looked into race circuits, stakes tiering, meeting schedules, race programming and handicapping and internal business systems and practices. Colin Smith, a former handicapper of the West Australian Trotting Association who also helped in the creation of the new model, said it tried to ensure an even playing field for all participants. “We introduced the new system looking to reduce the number of short price favourites and spread more of the money around to the participants,” he said. “We wanted to increase the number of first time winners as well as the number of three and four-year-olds that win races. “In Harness Racing, we had some horses that would be five or six classes better than other horses, but come September 1 and the new season they would become even.” According to Smith, in season 2003/04 there were 248 different thoroughbreds that recorded their first win, while there were only 101 Standardbreds that matched that feat, despite there being more than 400 additional Harness Races held. Trainer-driver Aldo Cortopassi said juvenile horses dropping back to race in significantly easier races had been a problem for Harness Racing for some time and felt the code could learn from Thoroughbred Racing. “In the gallops, if you win a race, or run well in a good race, you get weight on your back,” he said. “In the trots, you often see good quality horses dropping back and winning maidens. “A lot of trainers would work the system, even I did too.” Cortopassi said it was important for Harness Racing in WA to keep evolving and embrace the new model. “I don’t mind the system because I have a range of different horses,” he said. “You really have to study the nominations and work out what race is suitable for your horse. “Harness Racing has been stuck in a holding pattern for a long time now. “This is a major evolving system and, like any system, it has a few glitches and some areas of it need tweaking. “For the most part, you have a lot of horses of the same calibre racing against each other.” As well as the improved standard of racing, Cortopassi said the new model could have a positive effect on the breeding industry. “The old system had an impact on the breeding industry,” he said. “People would hold on to their horses for a long time and they didn’t have to buy new horses. “They wouldn’t look interstate or to New Zealand to buy horses because they knew the horses they had in their stable would be able to drop back.” From the perspective of up and coming trainer-driver Kyle Harper, who won the Group 1 Golden Slipper with Franco Edward last year, the transition to the new model was never going to please everyone. “Nobody likes change, especially when it comes to business,” Harper said. “I was against it to start with, I didn’t like it at all and the most part of that was because I didn’t understand it. “Until you go through the motions of it, it’s pretty hard to understand. “I’m getting a pretty good grasp of it now and I’m actually not disliking it. “As time goes on, it’s getting better and better.” Harper said Kaptain Kenny was one horse in his stable that had benefitted from the new model. The gelding won just five of his first 56 races, but in a prosperous period between December and February he was able to win three races in four starts. “Under the new model, Kaptain Kenny has essentially been able to win what would under the old system be an M0 race twice,” Harper said. “He’s no world beater, but he’s been able to find the right races.” Despite the success he’s had with Kaptain Kenny, Harper said he had faced some problems finding suitable races for his star three-year-old Franco Edward. While Harper acknowledged it was important not to let juvenile feature race winners drop back too far below their class, he hoped there could be room for some concessions for them in the new system. “The biggest issue I have with a horse like Franco Edward is there’s no real penalty free two and three-year-old races,” he said. “In a sense that is good because it stops the Derby winner dropping back. “There still needs to be more incentive for the younger horses and a bit more opportunity for them in the new system.” Cortopassi said he had also been involved with pacers who had started to reap the rewards of victory as a result of the new model. “A horse I drove for Matt Henwood at Narrogin last month Baron Jujon has been an example of one who has benefitted,” he said. “We have seen a lot of hobby trainers who have been able to get their horses into races they can win without having better quality horses that can drop back. “You have to find the races and go to them.” Veteran Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed said he was also an advocate of the new model, despite his best horses not necessarily the ones best suited by the model. Reed identified turnover as the key long-term measure as to whether or not the model was working. “If the turnover on meetings has improved, then I think the model is working,” he said. “We need to be able to get turnover up. “Before we changed to the new model, we couldn’t get full fields. “The good horses are the ones that are impacted more by the new model, but they well find ways to win.” More information on the new business model can be found on the following link:   Tim Walker

Tough mare Millview Sienna has caused one of the great Group 1 upsets in last night’s Mares Classic (2536m) at Gloucester Park, storming home to defeat classy mare Eden Franco. The barrier draw for the Group 1 event opened up the possibility for there to be an upset, after fancied runners Eden Franco and Maczaffair were dealt tricky draws. There was plenty of action in the early stages, as Our Angel Of Harlem and Eden Franco both tried to cross to the front, in doing so Chris Voak, driving Gotta Go Gobana, was left with a flat tyre. Eden Franco and Our Angel Of Harlem eventually were able to lead the field, as Millview Sienna settled three pairs back on the inside. Reinsman Aldo Cortopassi was able to get away from the inside on the back straight in the final lap and was able to set out after Eden Franco. Eden Franco appeared to have the race in her keeping 100m from the finish, but Millview Sienna produced a strong finishing burst to record her 11th victory from 45 starts. It was Cortopassi’s first Group 1 success, while it was a second win at the top level for trainer Ray Williams. Millview Sienna’s win kick-started what could be a huge weekend for the Williams family, with Ray’s son Grant, together with Grant’s wife Alana, saddling up the two favourites in the Kingston Town Classic at Ascot. Williams Snr said he had received great support from his son, who carved out a successful Harness Racing career prior to switching to the thoroughbreds. “I don’t think I’ve set the standard, but I hope it helps them,” he said. “I had a phone call from him when she crossed the line.” Williams Snr said he was hoping Millview Sienna would be able to figure in the finish and admitted the mare could be better than he gave her credit for. “The draw she got, I thought with a bit of luck she could hang in there and run in the first five,” he said. “When she won, I couldn’t believe it, I love the way she went to the line. “I suppose we have to start thinking a bit more positively with her now.” She Could Be Good, a $151 chance with TABtouch, finished third in the Group 1 event. Meanwhile, Jack Mac is in doubt for next week’s Group 1 Golden Nugget, after he pulled up sore from his win last night’s Nugget Prelude. Benhope Rulz loomed up to Jack Mac in the home straight and the favourite looked vulnerable for a fleeting moment. However, the Barry Howlett-trained pacer fought on to win by 2.5m. Lewis said it was likely to be just a foot abscess for Jack Mac, who now needs a vet certificate to race in next Friday’s four-year-old feature. “He did dip at the 300 as if he trod on something,” he said. “From then on, he was a little bit sore, so I pulled him up and got him checked out. “It was a good run, but there is just a query now.” In the other feature event of the night, Runrunjimmydunn and Vultan Tin dead-heated in the Free-For-All. Vultan Tin’s reinsman Chris Voak predicted a prosperous summer campaign ahead for the Phil Costello-trained pacer, after he finished fourth in last year’s Inter Dominion Final.   Tim Walker

Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi was delighted with Theo Aviator’s sparkling trial at Byford on Sunday morning and he predicts a successful campaign for the three-year-old. Theo Aviator will be appearing after a beneficial spell when he starts from barrier two in the Matt Allen Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s got gate speed and I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins first-up,” said Cortopassi, who has taken over the preparation of the lightly-raced gelding after Aiden Warwick decided last week to take a break away from harness racing. “Theo Aviator was probably a bit further forward than I thought he was when he ran such a good trial on Sunday. I didn’t even pull the plugs and he ran a pretty good last half (in 57.1sec.). He has developed into a lovely horse; the break has done him the world of good. He has grown a bit and filled out a lot. “Even though he has drawn well it won’t be an easy task for him on Friday night against some very smart three-year-olds in Gee Jay Kay, Bletchley Park, Shockwave, The Lightning Strike, Babyface Adda and Machlani. “However, if we find the front, which I think he can, they’ll definitely know he’s there. He’s a funny gaited horse, a little daisy-cutter, and when he actually gets up and running, he’s in a better rhythm. The faster they run, the better he is.   “He will be set for the Westbred Classics and the WA Derby this season.” Theo Aviator was not driven out from barrier four in Sunday’s trial and he settled down in third place on the pegs before Cortopassi sent him forward with about 1200m to travel. Theo Aviator then took the lead 950m from home and was challenged strongly by Franco Edward for much of the final circuit. He fought on grandly to win narrowly from Franco Edward. Also resuming after a spell on Friday night will be the Vicki Lea-trained Gee Jay Kay (barrier four) and Bletchley Park (six). Both should prove hard to beat. Gee Jay Kay won very easily at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in July before going for a spell and Bletchley Park won at five of his eight starts as a two-year-old. He was a half-head second to Franco Edward in the group 1 Golden Slipper in July before being turned out. Cortopassi declared that his best winning chance ion Friday night was the Ray Williams-trained  Walkinshaw , who will start from the No. 4 barrier in the 2130m Colin Cowden Pace. Cortopassi drove Walkinshaw for the first time when the resumed racing after a four-month absence last Friday week when he scored an effortless victory over Kimani and Suspicious Life. “He’s a serious horse; he’s got a motor and I didn’t realise just how well he was travelling until I went back and looked at the times,” Cortopassi said. “He won in a jog.”       Ken Casellas

In-form reinsman Ado Cortopassi, with 20 wins in the first two months of the 2018-19 season, has been engaged to drive Walkinshaw for the first time when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old stallion starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the opening event, the Ballantyne Showcase Jewellers Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Walkinshaw, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, will resume his rivalry with the exciting Kimani and their clash should be one of the highlights on the ten-event program. Kimani showed that he will win many more races with a dashing performance last Friday night when he started from barrier eight and thundered home from eighth at the bell to hit the front 120m from the post and win easily from Starlight Brigade, rating 1.57.5 over 2130m. That was Kimani’s second outing after a spell (following his excellent second to Chiaroscuro) and he looms large as the chief rival for Walkinshaw, who will be resuming racing after an absence of 15 weeks. Walkinshaw made his debut when he started in a heat of the Young Guns (for two-year-olds) at Alexandra Park on December 31, 2014 and finished a sound fifth behind Lazarus and just a neck behind Kimani in fourth place. The two pacers met again in two heats of the three-year-old Sires, with Kimani holding the upper hand with a second and a third to Walkinshaw’s fifth and fourth placings. Then they clashed again, with Walkinshaw finishing third behind Lazarus and Chase The Dream in the Group 1 Great Northern Derby at Alexandra Park, and Kimani finishing ninth. Walkinshaw won at six of his 17 starts in New Zealand and his 16 starts in Western Australia have produced seven wins and five placings. He has an impeccable first-up record for Williams, having scored strong victories at each of his two first WA runs after a spell. This will be the first time in WA that Walkinshaw will start from the No. 1 barrier. He has started three times from the No. 8 barrier for two seconds and a sixth, five times from barrier six for four wins and a sixth, twice from barrier five for a first and a second, twice from barrier four for a win and a fourth and four times from the back line for a first, second, third and a fourth placing. Young Banjup trainer-reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green will be anxious to be the fly in the ointment by upstaging Walkinshaw and Kimani with his smart, lightly-raced seven-year-old Suspicious Life, who is ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line. Suspicious Life has sparkling gate speed and Egerton-Green will be strongly tempted to make a spirited bid for the early lead. Egerton-Green restrained Suspicious Life from barrier six last Friday night and the gelding raced in ninth position before he sustained a powerful three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Danieljohn and Bettor Not Bitter. Suspicious Life was hampered by a flat tyre over the final 400m. At his previous appearance, Suspicious Life began from the inside of the back line and impressed when he finished fast to win from Scotlynn Beach at a 1.55.6 rate over 1730m. Serpentine trainer Clint Hall has engaged Michael Blakemore to drive Mattjestic Star to take advantage of Blakemore’s claim as a novice. Mattjestic Star ended a losing sequence of 38 when he raced fiercely in the breeze for the first 1000m before charging to the front and racing away to win by almost seven lengths over 2130m. He is the solitary runner off the back line this week. Ken Casellas

Promising colt Bee Seventeen has been his own worst enemy with his inclination to pull hard in his races, but reinsman Aldo Cortopassi is enthusiastic at his winning prospects in the final event, the TABtouch, The Brand That Funds The Industry Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Aiden Warwick-trained Bee Seventeen has drawn perfectly at the No. 1 barrier on the front line in the 2130m event and Cortopassi said: “I give him a really good each-way chance.” Bee Seventeen started from barrier four in a 2185m event at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he raced three wide for the first 450m before getting to the front where he over-raced and was overtaken 270m from home by Bettor B Abeliever, who won from Fight Song, with Bee Seventeen fighting on determinedly to be fourth, less than a length from the winner. “That’s just him, unfortunately,” said Cortopassi. “He always wants to over-race and pull. We’ve found that to stop him pulling, stops him running. There’s a happy medium with him, so sometimes it is better off losing the battle to win the war. This week we’ll be trying a running head-check and a different bit on him to see if we can get him to relax. “We have never really fired him off the gate, even though he has good natural speed but from one this week he’s got enough gate speed without having to fire him up. At Pinjarra on Monday he was still there at the finish and was beaten by about a length. “He’s a funny little horse; if you try to drive him sit and sprint, he hasn’t got the necessary acceleration. Whenever he leads in trackwork it takes a good horse to run him down. If we can hold the front on Friday without firing him up and hopefully get a softish or reasonable lead time and a first quarter in around 30.5sec. or 31sec. he will be hard to beat. Then if he wants to light up over the final 1200 metres he can get the roller skates on and get running. “He’s one of those horses, you’ve got to lose the battle to win the war. If you go to war with him, he’s bigger and stronger than me and he’ll win the battle more times than he doesn’t. He’s a good, honest little racehorse and this is a good race for him.” Cortopassi also has high hopes of winning the first event on the program, with smart four-year-old Major Pocket, who is ideally drawn at barrier No.2 on the front line in the 2130m Book Into The $50 Beau Rivage Buffet Special Pace. Major Pocket, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, is sure to appreciate a drop in class after his excellent fifth placing behind quality pacers Tyler Brett, Simba Bromac and Jimmy Mack in the Group 3 John Higgins Memorial last Friday night. “He was doing his best work on the line last week,” Cortopassi said. “If he can find the front I reckon that The Freedom Fighter will have to be 100 per cent to beat him.” The Freedom Fighter, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is extremely versatile and capable of overcoming the distinct disadvantage of starting from out wide at barrier eight. The Freedom Fighter was untroubled to lead all the way from barrier one last Friday night to record his sixth consecutive victory and move to an M2 classification. Major Pocket is the only M0-class pacer in the field, which includes M4-class performer Argyle Red, but has the class to beat The Freedom Fighter, Argyle Red and eight M1-class performers. Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob MacDonald, will be having his first start for four months, but indicated that he was poised for a strong first-up effort when he sprinted over the final quarter in 27sec. in scoring a runaway win in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Cortopassi will also drive Major Pocket’s stablemate Millwood Sienna in the $7 Pints At JP’s Sportsbar Pace. Millwood Sienna, a winner at ten of her 40 starts, will begin on the inside of the back line. “That’s not the best draw for her,” Cortopassi said. “She prefers to get up and get rolling. She’s a monster mare with a monster stride. Last week she drew ten (inside of the back line) and really struggled to hold the leader’s back off the gate. She needs to be rolling; she doesn’t have that point-to-point acceleration and sit and sprint is not her cup of tea.”   Ken Casellas

Comeback trainer Aiden Warwick says To Fast To Serious will be given every opportunity to complete a lucrative Group 1 double in the next fortnight. Having secured the 2YO Colts and Geldings Westbred Classic (2130m) on Friday, To Fast To Serious will progress to the $125,000 Golden Slipper on July 13. “I can’t see why not,” Warwick said on Tabradio. “He has pulled up terrific. “Early one we put him out so he could keep growing. “We have been patient with him and I think he deserves a shot at it “If all goes well we will go for it.” Fast To Serious, driven by Aldo Cortopassi, lifted and defeated Shockwave by a half-head after the runner-up issued a strong challenge at the 100m. Warwick said To Fast To Serious, unbeaten in four starts, was impressive to withstand pressure over the final stages. “The way the race panned out I thought he is going to have to dig deep down the straight,” Warwick said. “Shockwave hadn’t had to do the early work, had the pie ride and always finishes his races off strong. “When my bloke lifted over the concluding stages that was the most impressive thing about him.” To Fast To Serious, who rated 1:56, breaking the previous record of 1:57.6 when leading all-the-way, capped Warwick’s comeback to racing. Warwick took a break from the sport in 2010 before teaming up with leading owner Rob Watson and Cortopassi towards the end of last year. Warwick says he feels fortunate to be associated with such a promising horse. “I haven’t been back in the game too long and I feel pretty blessed to have a horse so quickly in the yard,” Warwick said. “He did a real good job and from the day he came here he has been a lovely horse to train.. “Lou Austin comes out and does track work with me and no one has had better two-year-olds than Lou. “He said early on that he was a nice horse this one and we’re all fighting to see who drives him at track work.”   Julio Santarelli

Trainer-driver Aldo Cortopassi heads to Harold Reid Paceway tomorrow night with a strong team of runners on the eight-race harness racing program, highlighted by the $8500 Trevors Carpets Discretionary Handicap (2242m). Cortopassi has engaged A Bit Ruthless in the feature race, who he will drive in the standing start event off 50m. A Bit Ruthless has not won since December 1 in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, but has three recent runner-up placings at Gloucester Park, including his most recent start on February 13, when he was beaten a half neck on the line by Atlastalone. Cortopassi will also saddle up Whitbys Gamble, Brotha Ofa Gangster and Talon Again on the night, and drive four other pacers on the card. The Trevors Carpets Discretionary Handicap has attracted a terrific field, with last-start winners Beach Landing, Sammys Ideal and Scoobys Delight all entered. Beach Landing is prepared by top metropolitan trainer Ross Olivieri, has won his past two starts at Wagin and Williams, and will be driven by Giles Inwood from the front of the standing start. The Michael Callegari-trained Sammys Ideal was an impressive Bunbury winner last start in a mobile event and switches back to the stand with Shane Butterworth in the sulky off 10m. Albany-based trainer Matthew Saw has two runners in the event, with Scoobys Delight to be driven by Trent Wheeler, while youngster Madeleine Young is behind consistent Estocada. Saw is a clear leader of the Albany Harness Racing Club Trainers’ Premiership heading into the final three meetings of the 2017-18 season. The first event tomorrow starts at 6.48pm and finishes at 10.15pm, with the last six races broadcast on Sky Racing 1. Cameron Newbold | Albany Advertiser Reprinted with permission of The Albany Advertiser

Aldo Cortopassi will become the 22nd harness racing driver to handle Allthewaytothebank in a race when the six-year-old contests the $18,000 Schneider Ecoxpert Mares Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Allthewaytothebank, trained at Byford by Brendan Abbott, warmed up for her engagement in terrific style with a dashing victory in a 2130m event on Tuesday night. She will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and has good prospects. Sixteen-year-old Corey Peterson got Allthewaytothebank away to a flying start from barrier five and she burst to the front after 200m before bowling along to score by almost two lengths from Donovan Bromac. After a fast lead time of 35.3sec. The Rich And Spoilt mare  dashed over the final four quarters in 30sec., 30.1sec., 30.3sec. and 29.2sec. Abbott has a good second string in Friday night’s race in Artistic Lilly, whose past four starts on country tracks have produced a win at Narrogin, a second at Wagin and thirds at Williams and Bridgetown. The mare will be driven by Michael Grantham, but faces a tough assignment from the outside barrier (No. 9). Pinjarra breeder-owner-trainer Graham Cox has Honey And Lime in top form and she looks the testing material from the coveted No. 1 barrier, with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky. Honey And Lime covered a good deal of extra ground when she ran on from the rear to finish third behind Artistic Lilly at Narrogin on February 16 and since then she has finished second in trials at Pinjarra and Byford. Honey And Lime was successful at her two previous starts, finishing strongly to beat Simondou Su at Bridgetown and overcoming a bad start behind the mobile to score from Kissmecougar at Bunbury. Ken Casellas

“Best day ever” are the words Woodvale High graduate Kiara Davies used to describe her first harness racing track work run behind the Craig Abercromby trained Time Is Ticking. Growing up with her parents and sister Polly in Kingsley, Davies originally wanted to be a jockey and admired top riders Paul Harvey and former leading female jockey Alana Williams, however once she learnt of the weight and height requirements she decided to put her interest into harness racing instead. From a young age, Davies would assist Colin Brown around his Banjup stables on weekends and school holidays, helping jog the horses and learn the ropes within the industry.   Davies father Graeme, who now enjoys breeding pacers as a hobby, always owned pacers and it intrigued her to have some sort of involvement within the industry.   Graeme’s first bred foal, a filly called Lucy after Davies’ late Nan and by Art Major, is currently in the paddock after having her first race preparation and earlier this month he welcomed his second foal ‘Owie’, named after Davies’ Pop, a colt by Renaissance Man.. Studying accounting and working full-time as a financial planner, Davies endeavoured to go full-time in the harness game after driving track work part-time for Abercromby and it was from there she would have her first trial with Time Is Ticking, the same horse that gave her such enjoyment on her first track work day. Davies enjoyed her first driving win in April 2012 behind her horse and now beloved hack Arts Gangsta and in 2013 received her trainer’s licence.   It was not long afterwards Davies tasted the thrill of the training game when Where and When won at Gloucester Park with driver Chris Lewis; a night that was fitting for the young up and coming trainer as Lewis was a driver she admired within the harness industry for all of the advice and guidance she has received from him over the years. Now working full-time for well-known trainer/driver Aldo Cortopassi and training a small team of her own out of Darling Downs, Davies is taking freelance drives when given the opportunity and is enjoying life just the way it is.   Admitting the pressure she puts on herself with training, Davies has every intention to train a small team and when I asked where she sees herself in five years, she explains “Hopefully retired from driving and having a family” Favourite past time: Beer and wine festivals Favourite food: Italian Best driver/trainer: Aldo Cortopassi and Chris Lewis Best looking person in harness racing: Kristy Sheehy Ashlea Brennan

Over in Western Australia Sunday afternoon harness racing driver Aldo Cortopassi drove his career 1000th winner. Trainer/Driver Aldo Cortopassi who began his driving career after a successful period in the local Pony trots as a teenager reached a milestone that many harness drivers would dream of, and that was winning his 1000th race as a driver. Aldo's first race win as a driver was on the 7th August 1993 at a track in country Western Australia, Narrogin..and then 3 weeks and 23 years later wins his 1000th winner as a driver on 3 year old Hindu Raja for long time stable clients Kevin Dinnigan & Tammy Pleysier..{Hindu Standardbreds}.. When asked who was his major influence in harness racing Aldo quickly replied Frank Ellis, who Aldo worked for as a stable hand as a very young teenager at week-ends and after school.. Aldo said that the best pacer he has driven was a mare called MEGGIE DEAR {$186,171 & 1:55.5MR on 06-Dec-2002 } He also said that the best horse he had trained and driven was TOTAL DEFIANCE who's career record. {$550,295 & a best of 1:52.6MR when exported to North America.} It's rather ironic that Aldo drove Hindu Goddess for the first time which was the first horse that Kevin & Tammy owned back on 05-August-1994 and achieved the milestone of 1000 winners as a driver with {Hindu Raja} the last horse they will breed and race ... To all concerned well done.. StandardBred And Breeding For All

Byford harness racing trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi has Showstopper racing in sparkling form and the six-year-old mare has sound prospects of notching her seventh win from her past eight starts when  she starts from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the Ross North Homes Pathway Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Showstopper was most impressive at Northam last Saturday night when she started out wide at barrier seven and did all the work when she raced in the breeze, some three to four lengths back from the tearaway pacemaker All About Pink. She revealed excellent fighting qualities when she finished determinedly to hit the front in the final 25m to win by a length from Nightwatch Lady and Donegal Kahlum, rating 1.55.5 over the 1780m trip. She also started out wide at barrier seven in a 1780m event at Northam nine nights earlier when she raced four and three wide in the early stages and then in the breeze before winning from Jasper Whitby. Showstopper is sure to receive plenty of opposition from the John Oldroyd-trained Mynameskenny, a smart four-year-old who has won at nine of his 21 starts. Mynameskenny faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. He was gallant in defeat over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he pulled hard in the breeze for much of the way and fought on grandly to finish a head second to the speedy Bhagwan at a 1.56.2 rate over 2130m. Others with each-way claims include the polemarker Loaded Aussie, who has been placed at four of her past six starts for Byford trainer Linda Hamilton, and Luminosa, who scored an impressive all-the-way win at a 1.57.1 rate over 1780m at Northam for trainer-driver Kristian Hawkins last Saturday night. by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 22 January 2016

Byford harness racing trainer Aldo Cortopassi brought up his 200th winner as a trainer when odds-on favourite Mago Man just lasted to win the last race at Gloucester Park tonight. Cortopassi began training in 1995 with his first winner being Just Miles Ahead on 7th July 1995 at Gloucester Park. Mago Man is raced by Vince Vinciullo who enjoyed considerable success as an owner/trainer some 30 years ago with Devils Arrow and Raceaway Too which both finished in the stables of Fred Kersley after being given their early racing by Vinciullo. Devils Arrow won 12 races however Vinciullo hit the jackpot with Raceaway Too which won 21 races including the 1987 Americas Cup Festival Of Sport Cup. The $100,000 race had originally been intended to be run to co-incide with each defence of the Americas Cup yacht race. Unfortunately the Cup was lost in 1987 and the ACFOS Cup was never run again. Alan Parker

Lightly-raced New Zealand-bred pacer Eastwood Crystal looks set to manage a rise in class and score an all-the-way harness racing victory in the 1730m TABtouch Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Colin Brown will replace the suspended Ryan Warwick in the sulky and he is sure to make the most of the coveted No.1 barrier over the sprint journey. Eastwood Crystal, trained at Forrestdale by Greg and Skye Bond, bounced back to her best form when she proved too smart for her moderate rivals in  a C2 and better stand over 2116m at Pinjarra last Monday week. She started from the back mark of 40m and was an 8/1 chance who well back in ninth place at the bell before she unwound a powerful finishing burst and got up in the final stride to defeat Donegal Chokin by a head. Eastwood Crystal made the most of the No. 1 barrier three starts before that when  Warwick guided her to an easy all-the-way victory over Awesome Desire over 2130m, with a final quarter in 27.9sec. The five-year-old has had only 16 starts for seven wins and four placings. Her ten WA starts have produced six wins and a third. Byford horseman Aldo Cortopassi holds a strong hand in the race with experienced six-year-olds Showstopper and Dilingers Princess. The versatile Showstopper will start out wide at barrier seven, with Cortopassi in the sulky and Dilingers Princess will start from the outside in the field of nine. She will be handled by ace Queensland reinsman Shane Graham, who is the leading driver in Australia this season with 84 winners. Graham also won the Australian Drivers’ Championship in the 2014-15 season with 259 winners from 1270 drives. Showstopper has struck a purple patch, winning at each of her past four starts, one at Narrogin and the next three in Kalgoorlie. Dilingers Princess has won at four of her past seven starts and her63 starts have produced nine wins and 12 placings. The Debbie Padberg-trained Lavra Florence will have admirers at her second outing after a spell. She will start from the No. 2 barrier and Chris Voak is likely to make use of her excellent gate speed. The Nathan Turvey-trained Robyns C C will be fancied from barrier four and Ross Olivieri will be looking for an improved performance from former Victorian performer Bonny Under Fire after her fading fourth behind Formyeyesonly at Bunbury at her latest appearance. by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016

Morgan Woodley is poised to notch a record third victory in the $35,000 Next Payment ATM Howard Porter Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night and chalk up his century of winners in the 2013-14 season. The brilliant young reinsman has formed a tremendous liaison with David Hercules and the seven-year-old is sure to prove extremely hard to beat in the 2536m feature event in which he has drawn barrier four on the front line. Woodley, one of four drivers to have won the Porter Memorial twice, looks set to make a bold bid to take up the role of pacemaker in the early stages. Brilliant mare Leda McNally has drawn the coveted pole position, but Chris Voak is unlikely to attempt an all-the-way win if Woodley, as expected, applies considerable early pressure. Leda McNally is a smart frontrunner, but she is even better suited when held up for a late charge. She produced a powerful finishing burst to win a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park two starts ago and then she surged home from eighth in the middle stages to finish second to El Machine in the 2100m Manea Classic at Bunbury last Saturday night. Ten-year-old Rocket Reign will start from barrier two. The veteran possesses good gate speed, but it would come as a surprise if Mark Reed attempts to set the pace with a pacer who has a losing sequence of 20. David Hercules is in sparkling form and is unbeaten at three outings in his current campaign, setting the pace to beat Im Themightyquinn over 2130m and then working hard in the breeze to beat Please Release Me in the 2536m Winter Cup and again when he defeated the pacemaker Northview Punter over 2130m last Friday night. "I was pleasantly surprised when he was able to get up and beat Northview Punter," Woodley admitted. And Byford trainer David Thompson is delighted at the way David Hercules is racing. "He went super last week and has thrived since then," he said. Northview Punter is a strong stayer, but his prospects of winning the Porter Memorial diminished when he drew out wide at No. 6 on the front line. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old, the youngest runner in the race, is trained by Gary Hall sen., who has won the Porter Memorial as a trainer-driver with Makes The Rules in 1999 and Its Written In The Stars the following year. Woodley has won the event with All In Teck (2008) and Has The Answers (2011) and the other reinsmen to have won the race twice were Phil Coulson (Pure Steel in 1978 and Gammalite four years later) and Fred Kersley jun. (Gap Road, 1983, and Quecee, 1990). Pinjarra trainer Chris King, who has brought Leda McNally back to top form in the past fortnight, is seeking his second success in the Porter Memorial, a race he won with 41/1 tote outsider Flamin Tact in 2010 when the gelding was handled by Robbie Williams. King also has a handy second string in Lord Lombo, who is not well drawn at barrier five. An interesting runner is former Victorian open-class performer Our Blackbird, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old by Bettors Delight who will be making his first appearance in Western Australia. Our Blackbird, now trained by Ross Olivieri, has won at 15 of his 64 starts. He faces a stern test from the outside of the front line, even though he has been performing soundly against quality opposition in Victoria. Four starts ago, in the 1720m Sokyola Sprint at Melton, he finished fourth behind Five Star Anvil, Smoken Up and Chilli Palmer and three starts before that he was third behind Chilli Palmer and Smoken Up in the group 3 Geelong Cup. Our Blackbird will be driven by Chris Lewis, whose only success in the Porter Memorial was with Hilarion Star in 1992. Lewis seeking a birthday gift Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will celebrate his 59th birthday on Friday and he hopes to celebrate the occasion with a winner or two at Gloucester Park in the evening. One of his best prospects appears to be veteran pacer Tee Pee Village, who is ideally drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the Moondyne Joes Fremantle Claiming Pace. Trainer Clive Dalton has brought the 12-year-old back to racing after a spell in fine fettle and the gelding followed his first-up second to Pride of Colorado with a strong effort to win a 1730m claimer from The Oyster Bar at Gloucester Park last Saturday week after he had worked hard in the breeze for most of the way. Tee Pee Village is a good frontrunner, but Lewis may have to be content to race without cover, with The Oyster Bar the likely pacemaker from the prized No. 1 barrier. Looming as the hardest for Tee Pee Village to beat are Pride of Colorado (barrier six) and Our Arlington (seven). Trainer Aldo Cortopassi has engaged Mark Reed to drive Pride of Colorado, who will have many admirers after dropping in class. After sitting in the breeze and beating Tee Pee Village three starts ago, Pride of Colorado finished boldly from sixth at the bell to be second to Heez Orl Black over 1730m and then was a fighting fifth behind David Hercules over 2130m last Friday night. Reed looks certain to go forward with Pride of Colorado from the wide barrier and seek a forward position, most probably on the outside of the pacemaker. Our Arlington, trained by Gary Hall sen. and to be driven by his son Gary, has the ability to overcome the wide barrier. The six-year-old finished strongly to win the Past Presidents Cup from Dundee Three and Please Release Me two starts ago before setting the pace and finishing fifth behind David Hercules in the 2536m Winter Cup four Fridays ago. By Ken Casellas  

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