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Star harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis has been snapped up to drive Master Jaxon by owner-breeder John Bell and Collie trainer David Hunter in the $25,000 Kerry Clarke Westbred Four and Five-Year-Old final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Master Jaxon has drawn awkwardly at barrier seven in the 2130m event, but Lewis, fresh from landing a treble at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, has excellent prospects of overcoming that disadvantage. Lewis will be handling Master Jaxon for the first time in a race. He replaces Stuart McDonald, who has driven the four-year-old in both his starts for Hunter, but is now serving a term of suspension. The son of Cams Fool boasts an excellent record of 11 wins, eight seconds and two thirds from 32 starts and the stable’s confidence was boosted by the horse’s eye-catching performance in a 2100m event at Bunbury last Saturday night. Master Jaxon was restrained from barrier six and was last in the field of 12 with a lap to travel before he unwound a spirited finishing burst to be second to Sky Art. The third quarter of the final mile was covered in a slick 27.7sec. before a final section in 29sec. A fast pace in Friday night’s race will suit Master Jaxon, and this is a strong possibility, with Jax Or Better (barrier one), Bhagwan (two) and Three Bears (three) all possessing good gate speed and being proven frontrunners. Jax Or Better will be driven by Kyle Harper for Pinjarra owner-trainer Mark Lee. The gelding’s most recent success was when he started from the No. 1 barrier and set the pace before beating Spendthelot over 2190m at Northam last February. Three Bears, to be driven by Kiara Davies for Busselton owner-trainer Barry Howlett, is a brilliant frontrunner who has won at nine of his 20 starts this season. He led and won by almost six lengths from Master Jaxon at Pinjarra three starts ago before he made most of the running and held on to win narrowly from the talented Bungalow Bill on the same track a week later. Then he started from barrier seven at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he was restrained to the rear. He fought on doggedly, out wide, from 12th at the bell to finish eighth behind Rub Of The Green. Bhagawn, to be driven by Kristy Sheehy for Oakford trainer Neil Lloyd, runs his best races in front and he will prove hard to beat if he gets to the lead in the early stages on Friday night. He was a 42/1 outsider when he started from the outside of the back line in a 2536m mobile event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. He battled on from last at the bell to finish seventh, eight lengths behind the winner Our Sky Major. Choccy Mac, to be driven from barrier four by his trainer Justin Prentice, is capable of a bold effort. He has won at ten of his 31 starts and was an effortless all-the-way winner at Narrogin two starts ago. Ken Casellas

WA-bred five-year-old Importer Exporter is one of the State’s most improved harness racing pacers and he has bright prospects of maintaining his grand form by proving the master of his opposition in the $19,000 Homestyle Salad Makers Handicap over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Artesian gelding is a standing-start expert and a noted frontrunner and Chris Lewis will be anxious that he begins smoothly from barrier two on the front line in a bid to set the pace. Importer Exporter, bred, part-owned and trained by Chris Winston, has relished the role of pacemaker and standing-start racing, with his past seven starts producing five wins and two seconds. He was untroubled to lead from barrier two on Tuesday of last week and he gave his rivals virtually no hope when he sprinted over the final 400m in 28sec. He covered the final quarter in 27.2sec. when he won from Our Jericho over 2500m at Bunbury two starts before that.    However, Importer Exporter will have to be at his best to defy strong opposition from in-form performers Bashful Compton, Pelusiac, Change Gear and Naughty Maravu. Eight-year-old Bashful Compton, trained at Collie by David Hunter, is a noted frontrunner who is favourably drawn at No. 3 on the front line. He revealed his versatility at his latest appearance, when he started off the 50m mark in a 2503m event at Bunbury last Saturday week. He was 11th at the bell and finished powerfully, out wide, to get up and win from Waltzing With Cullen and Perfect Mach. The Ross Olivieri-trained Pelusiac also will have many admirers from barrier five on the front line. The Washington VC five-year-old is in excellent form, with his past four starts producing three wins and a second. At his most recent outing, he started off 20m and burst to the front after 950m before going on to win, untouched, from Firth of Forth after final quarters in 27.8sec. and 29.1sec. Ken Casellas

Champion harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis will drive brilliant last-start winner The Spinster in the $18,000 Team Trolio Spearwood Pace for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will replace Kim Prentice, who will be in South Australia taking part in an Invitation Drivers’ series at Port Pirie on Friday night. Millendon trainer and part-owner Sonia Zucchiatti is delighted with The Spinster’s form (wins at Northam and Gloucester Park at her past two outings), but said that the American Ideal filly probably would struggle to beat star filly Dodolicious. “The Spinster has met Dodolicious four times and Dodolicious has finished in front of her every time,” Zucchiatti said. The Spinster revealed blistering gate speed from barrier six when she gave a dashing frontrunning display to win easily from Im Zuleika and Maia Maguire at a 1.55.4 rate over 1730m at Gloucester Park last Friday week. She sped over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 28.9sec. The Spinster will start from the No. 7 barrier in the field of eight on Friday night, with Dodolicious (Colin Brown) in the outside barrier. Four of The Spinster’s five wins (from 11 starts) have been when she has set the pace, but Zucchiatti said she had not yet determined tactics for Friday night’s event. Dodolicious is trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who will also be represented by newcomer Shes Artful, a winner at one of her nine starts in New Zealand. Shes Artful will start from barrier two with Ryan Bell in the sulky. Zucchiatti said she planned to study Shes Artful’s style of racing before determining the tactics for The Spinster. Sheer Rocknroll, a talented filly in the stables of Ross Olivieri, has won at eight of her 21 starts and is an excellent frontrunner who will be suited by the No. 1 barrier. She warmed up for this week’s race with an impressive win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when she dashed over the final quarter in 27.8sec. and beat El Barcelona by 2m at a 1.58.7 rate. However, Dodolicious has been almost invincible in races restricted to fillies in this State and she is certain to be at short odds to win and improve her record to 13 wins from 20 starts. Ken Casellas

Vastly-experienced trainer Ross Olivieri is confident that a gear change will get promising six-year-old Our Jericho back to the winning list at Gloucester Park on Friday night after the New Zealand-bred gelding’s shock defeat at odds-on last Friday night. “I have added a head check to his gear and I think that will make all the difference,” Olivieri said. Chris Lewis will drive Our Jericho from the outside (barrier four) of the front line and will be anxious for a speedy getaway in a bid to set the pace in the Del Basso Salami Handicap, a stand over 2503m. Our Jericho blotted his copybook when he galloped at the start in a stand last Friday night and lost seven lengths. He was ninth after a lap before Lewis started a three-wide move 1050m from home. Our Jericho sustained his strong burst to take a narrow lead from the pacemaker Machs A Pearler 380m from home. The two horses then raced stride for stride in the home straight, with Machs A Pearler prevailing by a nose. The final quarters were run in 27.7sec. and 29sec. “It was a good run and I think he can make amends this week,” said Olivieri who has a good second string in the consistent mare Lady Willoughby in Friday night’s race. Lady Willoughby, a winner at 14 of her 40 starts, will start from the inside of the 10m line.       Our Jericho has raced eight times in WA for four wins and three seconds and Olivieri has high hopes for the gelding who is still an M0-class performer. “We’re just seeing where he goes,” Olivieri said. “I hope he can prove to be up there with the best of them and I’d like to think that he can be up to running in feature events at the Christmas carnival. He’s on the way up. He came back from the paddock for this preparation very fat and he’ll get better. He’s taken a few runs to get somewhere near his best.” Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. refused to concede victory to Our Jericho and is confident that Twoandahalf Tigers can record his ninth win from 14 starts this season. Twoandahalf Tigers will start from barrier three off the front. “If he gets away and I lob in front of Our Jericho I don’t think Our Jericho will be able to beat me,” Hall said. Ken Casellas

Im Master Charlie and Our Jericho will both be looking to complete a hat-trick of wins when they meet in the Murray Downs Discretionary Handicap on Friday night. The Brennan Racing prepared Im Master Charlie, a standing start specialist, has won from a 40m handicap at his last two outings in Northam and will appreciate the front row draw this week. Driven patiently on May 5th, the Bettors Delight 6yo entire swamped the field with a dazzling burst of speed heading down the back straight for the last time and was engaged in a stride-for-stride battle with Casey Isabella in the run home to win by a nose. A fortnight later he was able to tack on to the field after a lap before making a three-wide move with 1000m to travel. He showed dour toughness to run past his rivals in the final quarter to record a 6.2m win. The Ross Olivieri prepared Our Jericho's past two wins were off 30 and 40m handicaps at Pinjarra and Bunbury. A lightning fast beginner, driver Chris Lewis was able to be dragged into the race and lobbed one-out-one-back before sprinting past Arising Eastern in the home stretch, winning by 1.8m in a mile-rate of 2:00.2 for the 2631m SS on May 9th. Twelve days later he was in Bunbury and after settling was able to make a smart mid-race move to lead the pack with 1200m left to travel. He was left alone for the remainder of the event and notched up a 2:00.9 victory by 7.2m to Buhn Lurt. Machs A Pearler is the only other last start victor in the 2503m SS event on Friday – he saluted in a 2100m mobile event at Bunbury on the 21st of May. Kristian Hawkins will be looking to get the son of Mach Three out better than the last time he stood at the barrier, with the horse being successful in leading all the way in 10 of his 12 career wins.  Scott Hamilton

The Barrier Draw for Friday night’s $200,000 Sky Racing  Harness Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park has thrown the Blue Riband event wide open with nominal favourites Chicago Bull and Lets Chase The Dream drawing outside starting positions.  Western Gateway winner Chicago Bull has drawn barrier six, while the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen trained Lets Chase The Dream, to be once again be driven by Chris Lewis, is on his immediate outside in barrier seven. The Matthew Craven trained and driven Cant Refuse will start on the inside of the backline in barrier 10, with the only filly in the field, Dodolicious in barrier 11, having her first start back since her outstanding second in the NSW Oaks at Menangle on Miracle Mile day. Dodolicious’ stablemate El Jacko is the only other runner on the second line in barrier 12. Victorian Derby heat winner Sprinter has drawn awkward in barrier eight, however his stablemate Ideal Tyson has come up with the coveted barrier one. The line-up is one of the strongest in recent WA Derby history. The barrier draw for the Group One $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby is;   Ideal Tyson Johnny Disco Questionable Gesture The Art Form Mach Time Chicago Bull Lets Chase The Dream Sprinter Nathans Courage  ---------- Second row---------- Cant Refuse Dodolicious El Jacko Just Bet On Black (1st Emergency) Lightning Jolt (2nd Emergency) There are 10 races on Friday night at Gloucester Park, with the first race scheduled for 5.33pm WA time and gates open at 4.30pm. Sky Racing’s Gareth Hall will be live trackside with all the action broadcast on Sky1.

Champion harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis received a surprise telephone call from Christchurch yesterday (Tuesday) when leading New Zealand trainer Mark Purdon asked him to drive superstar colt Lets Chase The Dream in the Smorgasbord WA Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The son of Bettor's Delight arrived in Perth by air on Monday and is the nominal favourite for the $200,000 WA Derby over 2536m the following Friday night. “I’m looking forward to driving such a good horse,” Lewis said. “Most of Purdon’s horses are pretty relaxed and laid-back and this colt should’ve travelled over okay from New Zealand.” Lets Chase The Dream has drawn the inside barrier on the back line in Friday’s 2130m event, perhaps leaving Lewis in a quandary whether to take the sit behind the polemarker and speedy frontrunner Overboard Again and hoping for the opportunity to get into the clear during the race or to restrain the colt in the early stages and get him off the pegs. “Purdon is certainly a great trainer and I haven’t yet had a chance to discuss tactics with him,” Lewis said. “I would have liked to have drawn anywhere else than the inside of the back line.” Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen have prepared Lets Chase The Dream for his 17 starts in New Zealand for eight wins, three seconds and three thirds for $338,246 in prizemoney. Rasmussen has driven the colt 15 times for seven wins and six placings. As a two-year-old Lets Chase The Dream won two group 1 classics, the $100,000 Young Guns Cardigan Bay Stakes over 1700m at Alexandra Park  and the $156,400 NZ Sires Stakes over 1950m at Addington. He beat champion colt Lazarus by a neck at Alexandra Park and defeated stablemates Motu Premier and Lazarus at Addington. He has finished second to Lazarus in three group 1 classics as a three-year-old this season, the 1950m Sires Stakes at Addington, the 2200m NZ Yearling Sales Series final at Alexandra Park and the 2700m Northern Derby at Alexandra Park at his most recent outing, on March 11. Lets Chase The Dream began fast from barrier six at his latest appearance and raced three wide early and then in the breeze before taking the lead after 600m. Rasmussen then opted to take the sit behind Lazarus, who sprinted over the final 800m in 55.3sec. and the last 400m in 27.6sec. He rated 1.57.4. Leading WA reinsman Gary Hall jun., who will handle the brilliant Chicago Bull in the Derby final, said that Lets Chase The Dream looked the pacer to beat in the Derby final, but considered he was slightly vulnerable in Friday night’s prelude from the awkward drawn on the inside of the back line at his first Australian run, only four days after the flight from New Zealand. “You would imagine that whatever Lets Chase The Dream does this week, he will improve on,” he said. “If he goes back and then around the whole field and goes 1.56 or better and wins easily, you would say that the Derby is over. I’d like to think that he is beatable first-up here.” Hall will drive New Zealand-bred gelding Mach Time in the prelude. Mach Time, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line. The gelding won at five of his 16 starts in New Zealand and made an excellent Australian debut when he began speedily from the No. 5 barrier and set a solid pace before sprinting the final quarter in 27.1sec. to beat Nitro Lad by two lengths over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday night. He won at his final two outings in New Zealand, over 2200m and 2700m at Cambridge on December 24 and January 1, respectively. He revealed tremendous early speed from the back line on December 24 to take the lead after 250m before setting the pace and defeating Mastercraftsman.  Then at his most recent outing he started from the back line and mustered great early pace to settle in third position before taking the lead after 600m. “Mach Time will improve a lot off his first-up win in Bunbury,” Hall said. “He’s got good gate speed, but I won’t be able to cross Overboard Again, who ran a great trial at Byford on Sunday morning. He worked his way to the front and just ran. He won by more than eight lengths from Stroganoff, rating 1.56.3 over 2130m on a track which wasn’t overly quick. “Mach Time can win on Friday night, particularly if her raced one-out and one-back, with Lets Chase The Dream in the breeze and putting a heap of pressure on the leader.” Clint Hall will be in the sulky behind Overboard Again, who has had only two starts, for a fifth behind Vanquished over 2000m at Otago on January 2 when he finished strongly from tenth, and a three-length victory over Crackamoa in a 2000m event at the Northern Southland Club in Gore on January 14 when he was untroubled to set the pace from barrier two. Ideal Tyson, a winner at nine of his 16 starts for Pinjarra trainer Gary Elson, will start from barrier five with Nathan Turvey in the sulky. The colt warmed up for this week’s assignment with an effortless trial win, rating 1.55.9 over 2185m at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Banjup trainer Colin Brown fared poorly in the draw, with Just Get On Black drawing the outside (barrier No. 9) on the front line and Franco Rayner drawing barrier six. Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice was disappointed when Natural Disaster drew out wide at barrier seven. But he has not given up in his quest to qualify the gelding for the Derby final. “It’s going to be tough from the draw, but I think he went sensational at his latest run (when he started from barrier six and finished powerfully to be second to Johnny Disco in the Country Derby at Pinjarra on March 21),” Prentice said. “He’s got the motor to run the 2536m of the Derby final. I’m disappointed he didn’t get a run in the Western Gateway Pace last week and hopefully he proves that he deserves a Derby start.” by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 April 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 April 2016

Harness racing drivers Lewis and Harper are certainly not about to concede defeat in the Cup. “Lovers Delight (trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed) is going super and his second to Lennytheshark in the interdominion championship final was simply brilliant,” Lewis said. “Barrier five is the big question. It’s somewhat of an awkward draw and I’d say, without speaking to Stephen or the owners, we’ll probably get a forward position. We’ll come out and have a look and getting to the front would be perfect. But the front mightn’t be on offer. However, you never know. “If we end up racing in the breeze it wouldn’t be a problem. He’s tough and is better on the pace. He’s definitely a player in the race. He can put himself into a race, so we will be using those attributes.” Lovers Delight, who set the pace when second in the Inters final, gave a sample of his sparkling gate speed in a 2536m heat of the Inters when he began fast from the No. 7 barrier and crossed to the front after 450m before going on to set the pace and sprint over the final 800m in 54.5sec. to beat Lennytheshark. Lewis has won the Fremantle Cup six times --- with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), John Albert (1995), Sandy Bay (2005) and Dasher VC (2013). Harper said he was hoping it would be a case of third time lucky with Bettors Fire, who led and finished second to Im Victorious in the 2014 Cup and then was fourth behind David Hercules last year. “I’m very happy with the draw and we’ll be leading from barrier one,” he declared. “Bettors Fire has the gate speed to hold up quite comfortably. The 2536m shouldn’t worry him first-up. He’s a lot further forward than he was in the first set of interdominion heats in November when his fifth behind Philadelphia Man was quite impressive, considering the power of work he did early. “He shouldn’t have to do that much work this time and he should be further forward than he was for his first-up Inters run. He should run a nice bold race. “Things haven’t been ideal in the lead-up. He had setbacks a month ago. He had a lot of soundness issues going into the first Inters heat which we couldn’t pick. He missed a bit of work due to lameness, but he came good before the first heat. “After his run in the second set of heats (ninth behind My Hard Copy in Bunbury)he pulled up a bit sore behind and wasn’t quite himself. His run was disappointing. Then three days later quite a large abscess burst in his nearside hind, which pretty much explained everything. “I then scratched him from the rest of the championship series and after a week off he’s had plenty of work. He’s forward enough to run an honest race and whatever he does he will improve on. I think he will be about 90 per cent this week and 100 per cent the following week for the WA Pacing Cup.” Bettors Fire, a winner of 27 races from 65 starts and $428,332 in prizemoney, worked impressively in a 2150m mobile trial at Byford last Sunday week when he rated 1.56.4 in finishing strongly to win from Formyeyesonly. The final quarters were covered in 303sec., 28.9sec., 28.9sec. and 28.1sec. “He’s had plenty of beach work and galloping since then and if we don’t cop a lot of unnecessary pressure early I think he will run a very good race, with Devendra, sitting on my back, the main danger,”” Harper said. “Beaudiene Boaz is a class animal and he might be just too good on the night.” Devendra, trained and driven by James Rattray, showed his class with wins in Inters heats over 2130m and 2536m, is now being prepared at Pinjarra by Gary Elson. Rattray will travel from Sydney to drive the six-year-old on Friday night. In the first market available on Tuesday night Devendra was favourite at $2.90, ahead of Beaudiene Boaz ($3), Waylade ($8), Bettors Fire and Lovers Delight ($9), My Hard Copy ($10) and John of Arc and Run Oneover ($18).  GPTV has interviews with connections for both Lovers Delight and Bettors fire... by Ken Casellas VIDEO: Lovers Delight ready to go one better. VIDEO: Harper to tighten screws on Bettors Fire Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016

The harness racing road show that is the Inter Dominion was back at Gloucester Park tonight for the the third round of heats and straight away a spanner was thrown at the picket fence form line of Lennytheshark when the local eight year old Lovers's Delight caused a minor upset when he stuck on gamely to beat the series favourite narrowly in the first of the 2536 metres heats. Sent forward by Chris Lewis from barrier eight at a great rate of knots, Lover's Delight grabbed the lead after 200 metres and immediately backed off the throttle a bit. Lennytheshark and Chris Alford settled last, a long way off the leader before Chris let him slide forward with two laps to go and he quickly got up on the wheel of Lover's Delight. Lewis let Lover's Delight steam down the back straight in 27.8 which had everybody except Lennytheshark flat and battling and Lovers Delight then finished off the race with a brilliant 26.7 final quarter which was just enough to hold off a very game Lennytheshark. Lennytheshark didn't help himself by having a bit of a wobble on the last bend again but still got within a metre of the winner and lost no admirers in defeat tonight. My Hard Copy got home late from last for third but he was twenty metres away and will need things to fall his way up front to be a winning chance in the final. The win tonight was Lover's Delight's 21st career victory and took his earnings over the $330,000 mark. He paced the 2536 metres in 3:04.1, a mile rate of 1:56.8 with sensational closing sectionals of 54.5 and 26.7 Chris Lewis was all smiles post race. " After that huge run the other night, I wasn't sure he would back up tonight but Stephen (Reed) has done a great job with him." "He felt great the whole way and really found the line." " On that run he has to be a real winning chance in the final," Chris Lewis said. Lover's Delight has added some real interest into the series for the locals and with any luck can play a part in the final next Sunday. Harnesslink Media

Adding interest to the 2130m Abbott and Co. Printers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night will be the appearance of former Victorian pacer Gotta Go Yanky. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old will be making his Western Australian debut for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and he should be prominent. He will start from barrier six with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Gotta Go Yankee showed early promise with four wins from seven starts as a three-year-old in New Zealand in 2013 before racing 22 times in Victoria for seven wins and five placings. He ended a losing sequence of eight when he finished strongly to win over 1720m at a 1.53.4 rate at Melton three starts ago, on August 14. The Matt Scott-trained Jaxon Fella has drawn perfectly at barrier one and Kiara Davies will be anxious to set the pace. The gelding also started from the No. 1 barrier two starts ago when Davies drove him to an all-the-way win over The Phantom and Onedin Crusader, rating 1.56.5 over 1730m. Drawn behind Jaxon Fella on the inside of the back line is the promising Back On Board, who has had 33 starts for nine wins and eight placings. “This is definitely a suitable draw,” said trainer Michael Brennan, who has engaged James Rattrray to drive the Christian Cullen gelding. “He won the Four-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park last March after racing behind the leader.” There is a lot of good exposed form in the capacity field of 12 and punters should gain good odds about their fancies.   Ken Casellas       

With his win behind Licinia in the second heat of the Australian Drivers Championship at this evening’s Launceston meeting ace Western Australian reinsman Chris Lewis joined an elite group to have driven a winner in each Australian State. Lewis became the first Western Australian driver to achieve the feat. Licinia became Lewis’s 4797th winner in a career which began with a success behind Classic Heir at Kapunda on 11th January 1972. Lewis had driven in Tasmania on two previous occassions. In 1978 he represented South Australia in the Australian Young Drivers Championship as the defending champion after he won the title in New South Wales a year earlier. In 2006 he drove Ohoka Ace for trainer Andrew De Campo in that year's Inter Dominion Championship held in Hobart and Launceston. After winning the Inter Dominion Championship in 1976 in Adelaide with Carclew, Chris made his first visit to Western Australia in June that year as a representative in the inaugural Australian Young Drivers Championship. While he didn't win that title he did drive his first Gloucester Park winner that night behind the Ben Geersen trained Burgundy and in 1979 Chris and wife Debbie moved permanently to Perth. In 1976 Chris Lewis and Ross Sugars represented South Australia and one of the Victorian representatives was Gavin Lang. The 1976 Australian Young Drivers Championship was won by Peter Morris from New South Wales. Peter Morris's son Robert represented New South Wales this evening in Launceston while Ross Sugars son Greg was one of the Victorian representatives. While Peter Morris and Ross Sugars have retired from race-driving both Chris Lewis and Gavin Lang drove in tonight's Championship as living proof that after 40 years they are still in the upper echelon of the nation's drivers. Alan Parker

Octogenarian Wanneroo owner-trainer Ken White has Fernleigh Rebel at his peak and the five-year-old looks the bet of the night at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred Fernleigh Rebel possesses blistering gate speed and Chris Lewis will be aiming for an all-the-way win from the prized No. 1 barrier in the first qualifying heat of the Alltools Kersley Pace over 2130m. Fernleigh Rebel revealed sizzling early pace from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the 1730m Pat Cranley Memorial last Friday night. But Pelusiac and Romulus kept him wide in the early stages and Lewis had no option but to restrain the gelding back to last, with the polemarker Scuba Steve setting the pace. Fernleigh Rebel then sustained a spirited last-lap burst to come from the rear to finish an eye-catching second to Another Vinnie. The previous week Fernleigh Rebel began with tremendous alacrity from the No. 6 barrier to set the pace and go on and win from Lord Lombo and Lunar Tide over 1730m, rating 1.55.3. Another Vinnie, who ran home strongly from sixth at the bell to win by 4m last week, will start from barrier three this week and will again have many admirers. However, the main danger to Fernleigh Rebel is sure to be Cyamach, who was a smart first-up winner last Friday week when Gary Hall jun. took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier by setting the pace and sprinting over the final 800m in 56.9sec. to beat Must Be Nice. Cyamach is ideally drawn this week on the inside of the back line and Hall is certain to give the six-year-old the best possible chance by trailing the frontrunning Fernleigh Rebel. Fernleigh Rebel won twice from five starts in New Zealand and then raced 19 times in New South Wales for six wins and seven placings before arriving in Western Australia where his first 18 starts have produced three wins and five placings. Ken Casellas

Seven-year-old Victorian-bred pacer Dynamite Dude has been placed at only two of his six starts in his current harness racing campaign --- after having ten starts in his previous preparation for seven wins and three thirds. But his last-start second was convincing proof that he is ready to return to the winning list for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, and he gets an ideal opportunity in the $23,000 The West Australian Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will start from barrier five on the front line and Chris Lewis is likely to quickly move him into a prominent position, and ready to strike, close to the expected pacemaker Shardons Rocket. Dynamite Dude impressed last Friday week when he started out wide at barrier seven and raced three wide early before moving to the breeze, outside the leader Lovers Delight in the 2130m Navy Cup. After a slow early pace (a meandering lead time of 38sec., followed by pedestrian quarters of 31.6sec. and 30.4sec.), Lovers Delight sprinted strongly in the final circuit, with final sections of 28.6sec. and 27.7sec. Dynamite Dude stuck resolutely to his task to finish a 4m second to Lovers Delight. Two starts before that Dynamite Dude worked hard without cover when a fighting second to Macintosh in a 2503m stand. A strong effort on Friday night would enhance Dynamite Dude’s prospects of being ranked in the final 30 pacers to contest the $1.8 million TABtouch interdominion championship series, starting at Gloucester Park on November 27. Several runners in this week’s race are in line for a start in the Inters, and they include the Olivieri-trained Red Salute and Our Blackbird, the Ray Williams-trained Pacific Ruler and the Michael Callegari-trained Smokey The Bandit. Pacific Warrior will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line and he is ready to run a big race at his fourth outing after a spell. He sat behind the pacemaker Lovers Delight when third to that pacer and Dynamite Dude in the Navy Cup. Smokey The Bandit also will have many admirers at his third appearance after a spell. He will start out wide at No. 8 on the front line and Ash Markham is likely to restrain the grey back to the rear before bringing the gelding home with a typical brilliant late burst. Smokey The Bandit enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to be third behind Tuxedo Tour and Lovers Delight over 1730m last Friday night when the final 800m was covered in 56sec. A week earlier he was ninth at the bell and impressed greatly when he sizzled home, out five wide, to finish fourth behind Lovers Delight in the Navy Cup. Our Blackbird can never be left out of calculations. He is a brilliant sit-sprinter who thundered home from seventh at the bell to win from Little Boy Blue and Go West U Terror over 2536m two starts ago. He will start from the outside of the front line and Stuart McDonald will allow the gelding to drop back to the rear before asking him for a powerful last-lap effort. Shardons Rocket, an 11-year-old veteran of 232 starts, looks set to lead from the prized No. 1 barrier and Callan Suvaljko will be aiming for an all-the-way win. The oldtimer warmed up for the race with a convincing trial win over 2150m at Byford on Sunday morning, with the final three quarters being covered in 28.8sec., 28.3sec. and 29sec. by Ken Casellas Related links Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 16 October 2015 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 16 October 2015

Harness racing champion reinsman Chris Lewis has given punters an important lead by electing to drive Lovers Delight in preference to Dynamite Dude in the $35,000 Brear And Doonan Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His task was made significantly easier when Lovers Delight drew the prized No. 1 barrier and Dynamite Dude fared badly in the random draw and will start out wide at No. 7 on the front line in the 2130m mobile event. Lovers Delight's favourable draw will greatly enhance Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed's prospects of maintaining an outstanding family tradition in the Navy Cup. Mike Reed, father of Mark and Stephen, has trained the winner of the Navy Cup six times and Mark has driven the winner of the race five times. Mark also trained the 2000 Navy Cup winner Skippers Trick, a pacer he drove to victory over Keyonymous and Lock And Load. Mike was successful as a trainer with Sylvie's Secret (1968), Manageable (1989), Time Symbol (1992), Golden Resonator (2001), Tricky Vic (2002) and La Valiente (2004). He drove Sylvie's Secret, Manageable and Time Symbol and Mark's wins as a driver have been with Another Party (1999), Skippers Trick, Golden Resonator, Tricky Vic and La Valiente. The closest Stephen has gone to winning the Navy Cup was in 2013 when Uppy Son, driven by Gary Hall jun., finished solidly into third pIace behind Bettors Fire and Ima Rocket Star. Mike went extremely close to winning the Cup for the seventh time when Polak (driven by Mark) was sixth at the bell before flying home to be a head second to Shardons Rocket last October. Lewis also has a good record in the Navy Cup, having won the feature event four times --- with Skiptar (1980), Western Gentleman (1994), Mark Craig (1995) and Super Strike (1996). Lewis faced a tough decision in choosing between Lovers Delight and Dynamite Dude as his drive in Friday night's Cup. He has driven Dynamite Dude at 22 of his 23 starts in Western Australia for 12 wins and he has handled Lovers Delight at 28 of his 37 WA starts for 11 wins. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has engaged Aldo Cortopassi to drive Dynamite Dude, Mark Reed for Red Salute and Stuart McDonald for stylish last-start winner Our Blackbird. Our Blackbird fared poorly in the random draw and will start on the outside (No. 9) of the front line and Red Salute will start from the outside (No. 3) on the back line. Olivieri has trained the winner of the Navy Cup three times --- scoring with Chipmont (1991), Mark Craig (1995) and Super Strike (1996). "Barrier draws are all important at Gloucester Park and Dynamite Dude and Our Blackbird haven't drawn a (reasonable) barrier for as long as I can remember," he said. "So how you try to line up their form from unfavourable barriers is beyond me. However, Our Blackbird's form from unfavourable barriers is very good. "He is going terrific and is going a lot better than his interdominion ranking (No. 44) would suggest." Our Blackbird was restrained at the start from barrier No. 7 in a 2536m event last Friday night before storming home from seventh at the bell to win from Little Boy Blue and Go West U Terror, when the final 800m off the front was covered in 56.6sec. Lovers Delight an eight-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding, has won at 19 of his 47 starts and he makes strong appeal as the likely pacemaker on Friday night. Most of the runners are sit-sprinters and it is difficult to envisage any serious pressure being applied to Lovers Delight, particularly in the first half of the race. Lovers Delight has not raced for two months, but has warmed up for his return to racing in good style in 2100m trials at Bunbury's Donaldson Park. On September 9 he dashed over the final quarters of a trial in 28.1sec. and 28.4sec. when he defeated Our Jerry Lee. And on Wednesday of last week he finished a neck second to Smokey The Bandit in a trial. Smokey The Bandit, trained at Busselton by Michael Callegari, is a brilliant sit-sprinter who can unleash a devastating late burst. He will have admirers at his first appearance since late May this year. An interesting runner in Friday night's Cup is WA-bred seven-year-old El Machine, who will be resuming racing after an absence of almost eight months. El Machine, a winner at 20 of his 53 starts, is handily drawn at No. 2on the front line and will be driven by Morgan Woodley. El Machine has been purchased by John and Debbie Padberg and five stable clients. "I have had him for about eight weeks," said Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg. "He is a little bit big in condition and will need the run. It will be a good test to see where he's at. "He has been working on the track with Glenferrie Rustler and they've been working on a par. We have bought him to have some fun; he's not up to the Inters, but we're looking forward to having a horse to race over the summer carnival." Padberg will also be represented by veteran Rocket Reign in this week's Cup. The 12-year-old is a veteran of 179 starts who caught the eye three starts ago with his fast-finishing third behind Bettors Fire and Tuxedo Tour. "He ran well last Friday night when fifth behind Our Blackbird," Padberg said. "He was beaten only by a half-length." Another oldstager with claims in the Cup is ten-year-old This Time Dylan, who returned to the winning list last Friday week when he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to defeat Northview Punter and Uppy Son at a 1.5t6.3 rate over 2130m. Ken Casellas  

Proven stayer Norvic Nightowl is poised to make a winning debut at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park by proving too strong for his rivals in the $25,000 Westralian Marathon Handicap on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old has not been extended in winning at his first two appearances in Western Australia --- in stands over 2560m at Northam on June 30 and over 2116m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He will start off the 20m mark in the 3309m Marathon for champion trainer Gary Hall sen. and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. who have combined to win this event with Im Themightyquinn in 2010 and Code Red in 2012. Norvic Nightowl warmed up for the Marathon in most impressive style on Monday when he started off 30m before he charged forward in the first circuit to burst to the front after 600m. He then bowled along in front and sprinted brilliantly over the final 400m in 27.3sec. to beat Znana by four lengths at a 2min. rate. He gave a sample of his ability at his final appearance in New Zealand, in the 3000m Tauranga Cup on the grass track at Cambridge on January 25 this year. He started from 30m in the event run in a clockwise direction and was at the rear in the field of 16, giving the pacemaker Shestherealdeal a massive lead of 35 lengths with 2000m to travel. Soon after that he then made a fast move and surged to the front 600m from home. He held the lead until the final 150m where frontmarker The Bucket List hit the front after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. Norvic Nightowl then wilted in the final stages to finish fourth. Earlier in his career Norvic Nightowl had won three times in stands over 2700m. He has now raced 51 times for 14 wins and 13 placings for earnings of $144,975. It is interesting to note that the Hall camp has put all its eggs in one basket, opting to rely solely on Norvic Nightowl in the Marathon after withdrawing Elegant Christian, Classic American, Northview Punter and Dashing Christian before acceptance time on Tuesday. The field for this year's Marathon is extremely well balanced and punters are sure to support many of the runners in what should be an open betting race. Chief Thundercloud, a tough stayer and a standing-start specialist, is a wonderfully consistent performer for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Lewis and looks set to fight out the finish. He will start off 20m. Olivieri and Lewis combined to win the Marathon in 2009 when 3/1 equal favourite Nickelmeldon set the pace and defeated Winter Retreat and Speed Monster. Danieljohn, Dardy Delight and Rocky Marciano, who share the 10m mark, have been racing keenly and deserve respect. Kristian Hawkins has been granted a stay of proceedings in order to drive Danieljohn, who maintained his excellent form last Friday night by finishing powerfully from ninth at the bell to be second to the brilliant Elegant Christian in a 2902m stand. Later in the program the stewards found Hawkins guilty of causing interference to Classic American in the Porter Memorial and he was suspended for 19 days. Rocky Marciano sustained a spirited three-wide burst from the rear to finish fourth behind Elegant Christian last week and Dardy Delight was an encouraging fourth behind Condrieu in a 2536m mobile event last Friday night. Dardy Delight's trainer-driver Justin Prentice was successful in the 2011 Marathon with Glacier Star, who got up in the final stride to snatch a head victory from the pacemaker Move Over. Eleven-year-old Rocket Reign, who started from 40m and at 10/1 when he finished boldly from eighth at the bell to win last year's Marathon from This Time Dylan, will start from 30m for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg on Friday night. This Time Dylan, who started off the 40m mark 12 months ago, is the lone backmarker off 40m this year. Michael Brennan, who trains This Time Dylan, will also be represented by frontmarker Waltzing With Cullen, a consistent six-year-old who will be driven by Michael Grantham. Waltzing With Cullen has a losing sequence of 27, but he has been placed at 16 of those starts, including eight placings from his past 11 outings. He is capable of causing a boilover. Another Brennan runner is frontmarker Awesum Teddy, who gave a sound performance when third behind Elegant Christian and Danieljohn last Friday night. Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has given punters a strong lead by opting to drive Lovers Delight in preference to the richly-talented six-year-old Dynamite Dude in the $35,000 Howard Porter Memorial over 2130m at the harness racing meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lewis has been in the sulky in all of Dynamite Dude's 18 starts in Western Australia for 12 wins, one second, four thirds and a fourth placing. But he chose to drive the Stephen Reed-trained Lovers Delight for two main reasons --- because the gelding put up a tremendous performance to finish a close second to the brilliant Waylade last Friday night and because he drew much better at barrier four on the front line, with Dynamite Dude out wide at barrier No. 8. He also considered that Lovers Delight's winning prospects were better, taking into account that he is harder in condition after several excellent runs in his current preparation, whereas Dynamite Dude will be making his first appearance since setting the pace and winning the Autumn Championship from Crombie and Northview Punter on March 6. Both Lovers Delight and Dynamite Dude are being aimed at the $1.8 million TABtouch interdominion championship series at Gloucester Park and Bunbury in November and December. Strong performances in the months leading up to the series will enhance their prospects of earning a start in the championship. The New Zealand-bred Lovers Delight has a 41 per cent winning record (19 wins from 46 starts) as well as recording ten seconds and three thirds. He was a 24/1 chance in a 2536m mobile event last Friday night when he started from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. He settled at the rear before Lewis sent him forward with a three-wide burst after a lap. He moved into the breeze before Waylade (who followed his run) assumed the position outside the pacemaker Bettors Fire 1300m from home. Waylade burst to the front with 250m to travel and Lovers Delight ran home with great determination to finish second, only a half-length from the winner, who rated a smart 1.55.7. Ross Olivieri, who trains Dynamite Dude at Oakford, said that he would engage Matt White to replace Lewis in the sulky behind the Victorian-bred six-year-old. Olivieri said that Dynamite Dude had scored an impressive trial win against moderate opposition at Byford last Sunday week. Dynamite Dude dashed over the final quarters in 29.1sec. and 28.2sec. and rated 1.593 in beating stablemate Awesome Desire by more than seven lengths. "First-up from barrier eight I don't see him troubling the scorer," Olivieri said. "It would be nice for him to be a running on fourth or fifth." "I plan to give Dynamite Dude about five or six runs before the interdominion series; two starts in August, two in September and two in October." Olivieri also will be represented by Our Blackbird (Stuart McDonald) and Red Salute (Chris Voak) in the Porter Memorial this week. He gives Red Salute a place chance from the inside barrier and is hoping that Our Blackbird has some luck after starting out wide from barrier seven. Our Blackbird has finished second at each of his past four starts after finishing strongly to win from Lovers Delight and Red Salute over 2100m. Lewis is hoping that Lovers Delight will give him his second success in the Porter Memorial, after scoring with Hilarion Star in 1992. Lovers Delight is likely to vie for favouritism with Bettors Fire, Classic American and Our Jimmy Johnstone. Bettors Fire, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, will start from barrier five and Harper is likely to steal a march on the opposition by sending the classy six-year-old to an early lead before dictating terms in front. Bettors Fire began brilliantly from barrier six last Friday night and set the pace before wilting to fifth behind Waylade over 2536m. The shorter journey will be in his favour this week. Our Jimmy Johnstone, another interdominion championship prospect, is in grand form for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and he cannot be underestimated. Our Jimmy Johnstone impressed when he set the pace and won convincingly from Our Blackbird and This Time Dylan over 2130m last Friday week. "Drawing the inside of the back row hurts," said Greg Bond. "It's not an ideal draw and I'll leave the tactics to Colin (Brown). "I'm happy with his work and am looking forward to the Inters." Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has four runners in the Porter Memorial, Classic American, Northview Punter, Crusader Banner and Vapour He has trained and driven two winners of the feature event --- Make The Rules (1999) and Its Written In The Stars (2000). Classic American appeals as his best chance. He will start from the outside (barrier three) on the back line and should be storming home. He has finished with a powerful burst to win 2503m standing-start events at his past two outings. Ken Casellas

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