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Marooned, a seven-year-old gelding, who boasted a losing sequence of 20 when he was claimed for $10,000 ten weeks ago, delighted his new owners when he stormed home from the rear to win the $50,000 Channel Nine Binshaw Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A tote outsider at 46/1, Marooned was handled expertly by Chris Voak and his victory over the heavily-supported 9/2 third favourite Northern Assassin and Copagin (10/1) came as a major surprise. There were six claims lodged for Marooned when he contested a claimer at Gloucester Park on November 29 and Gloucester Park Harness Racing committeeman Garry Scott was exceedingly happy when he was successful in the ballot. Marooned, who is raced by Scott, his wife Janine, their son Matt and friends Tony Maguire, Alison Tilt and the Manton brothers, is proving a splendid acquisition, with his first eight starts since entering Matt Scott's Serpentine stables producing two wins and a second placing for stakes of $42,845. The New South Wales-bred Marooned was able to contest the heats of the Binshaw Classic, restricted to M1-class pacers, because his classification was reduced from an M2 mark to M1 after he had extended his losing sequence to ten last August. He started out wide from barrier six on the front line in Friday night's 2130m final and Voak eased him back to race on the pegs. Polemarker Shnappy, the 3/1 favourite, set the pace after resisting a strong early challenge from Atlastalone. The pace was solid throughout, and after each of the first two 400m sections of the final mile went by in 29.4sec., Shnappy sprinted the third quarter in 28.6sec. Northern Assassin, ninth in the first lap, started a three-wide move approaching the bell and he got to a narrow lead 300m from home and looked the winner until Marooned flew home out wide on the track. Marooned was tucked away in the pegs in ninth position at the bell. He was still ninth when Voak eased him off the inside with 400m to travel. Marooned then went four wide and was sixth on the home turn before charging home to burst to the lead in the closing stages. The final quarter took 29.5sec. and the winner rated 1.57. Copagin, who raced three back on the pegs, finished boldly, out wide, to be a neck away in third place, with Shnappy wilting to fourth. "Last week his run (fourth to Copagrin) was a hell of a lot better than what it looked," Voak said. "I don't think we would have been any match for Copagrin, but I reckon if he had got clear a little earlier he would have run second. "Often in these type of races, with the hot speed, you need a lot of luck, and we got that. But by the same token the horse still has to be good enough to hit the line. And tonight he certainly ate it up. I drove Marooned for Matt early in December and he finished strongly to beat This Time Dylan (who went on to finish third to Hokonui Ben and Toretto in the WA Pacing Cup). If This Time Dylan was in tonight's field he probably would have been the $2 favourite." When Marooned won from This Time Dylan he sprinted the final 800m in 56.7sec. and the last quarter in 27.6sec. and Voak admitted to Matt Scott that the gelding was quite a bit better than he had anticipated. Friday night's win, paying $46.80 on the tote, was one of several successes by the gelding at handsome odds. His New South Wales successes included wins at $44.70 at Wagga and $17.60 and $48.70 at Menangle. By American stallion Hare Hare, Marooned has earned $145,722 from 17 wins and 15 placings from 72 starts. The victory continued the 25-year-old Voak's great run of successes this season. With 63 wins he is in second place behind Gary hall jun. (72) on the Statewide premiership. He is equal sixth on the Metropolitan premiership table with 22 wins, with Hall showing the way with 53 wins. EMPRESS STAKES IS THE TARGET FOR FAMOUS ALCHEMIST Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. is setting talented New Zealand-bred five-year-old Famous Alchemist for the $50,000 Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on February 28 after she had strolled to victory in the 1730m Alan Vawser Memorial on Friday night. Famous Alchemist, favourite at 7/4 on, was never seriously challenged and she was able to stroll through the lead time in a modest 8.3sec. before simply ambling through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 31.3sec. and 30.8sec. Rarely, in any company, is a leader able to dawdle over the first 800m of the final mile in 62.1sec. Gary Hall jun. gave Famous Alchemist a little more rein and she sped over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.2sec. She was not extended in coasting to victory by a length from 7/1 chance Sensational Gabby, who fought on doggedly after racing without cover. Rocky Marciano, second fancy at 5/2, trailed the pacemaker throughout and was hopelessly blocked for a run in finishing a close third. Hall did not release the ear plugs and Famous Alchemist rated 1.57.3 and could have gone considerably faster. She has led six times at her 20 starts in Western Australia and has won every time. The expected early speed battle between Famous Alchemist (barrier 1) and Sensational Gabby (three) did not eventuate and trainer Ross Olivieri appears to have cured the mare's recent habit of overracing badly in her races. This surprised Hall jun., who said: "I thought that there would have been a lot of speed off the gate and during the week everyone said to me that Famous Alchemist would have trouble in holding up. And we thought that the first half might be run quicker than the last. "But it was one of those races which did not pan out that way and she has led comfortably. Half-way through the race I felt like pulling her one off the fence and putting some pressure on myself. She is a quality mare who has had a few setbacks, and we're happy to have her racing in this sort of form." Famous Alchemist, owned by Karen Hall, has had 37 starts for 12 wins and 12 placings for earnings of $236,219. LIVELONG AND PROSPER REGAINING FORM AFTER SURGERY About a year ago Livelong And Prosper was laid low by injury and his future was uncertain. He was suffering from severe stifle lock in both hind legs and veterinary surgeon Kim Rose had to cut the ligaments in both legs in an attempt to cure the problem. The operation was successful, but when Livelong And Prosper resumed work for Bickley trainer Peter Anderson the somewhat gangling and lightly-framed gelding struggled to reproduce the form he showed when he started his Western Australian career as a three-year-old early in 2012. Anderson then experimented by giving Livelong And Prosper a lighter workload on the training track and concentrated on a lot of swimming in the pool. This decision is paying dividends. The New Zealand-bred gelding has put on weight and is racing with admirable enthusiasm. In his current preparation he has won at Bunbury in November and at Gloucester Park and Harvey in December and he impressed at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he unwound a sparkling late burst to snatch victory from Im Clean Cut and Soho Jackman in the 2130m See It First on Nine Pathway Pace. Despite fast-finishing thirds at his two previous outings, Livelong And Prosper was a 25/1 chance, mainly because of his wide draw at No. 5 on the front line. Soho Jackman, undefeated at three starts since a spell, was favourite at 10/9 on and polemarker Ohoka Kentucky was a firm 6/4 second fancy. Ohoka Kentucky was first into stride, with Gary Hall jun. getting Soho Jackman away brilliantly from barrier six. Soho Jackman poured on the pressure and was held at bay by Ohoka Kentucky before Robbie Williams relinquished the lead after 450m. The early cracking pace had the rest of the field well spread out, mainly in Indian file, with Morgan Woodley able to get Livelong And Prosper across to the pegs in sixth position. Williams took Ohoka Kentucky off the pegs and into the breeze 1050m from home to put some pressure on the leader. Livelong And Prosper was sixth at the bell when Woodley was able to ease him off the pegs before switching him three wide 460m from home. Then the gelding was forced four wide at the 400m when Shannon Suvaljko started a three-wide move with Im Clean Cut. Livelong And Prosper sustained his spirited burst, out wide, to hit the front about 70m from the post and he beat Im Clean Cut (18/1) by a neck, with a neck to Soho Jackman. Ohoka Kentucky wilted to finish fifth. Livelong And Prosper was purchased as a three-year-old by Ken Casellas and Ross Waddell after his four starts had produced one third placing at Alexandra Park. He made an auspicious start in WA, winning at his first two starts, at Harvey and Narrogin in January 2012 before catching the eye with a splendid fast-finishing third to talented three-year-olds Gracias Para Nada and Western Cullen at Gloucester Park the following month. He is now starting to realise his full potential and should improve on his record of seven wins, 16 placings and $45,235 in stakes from 46 starts. By American stallion Falcon Seelster, Livelong And Prosper is the second foal out of Badlands Hanover mare Nicolosa, who had only five starts for one win (at Alexandra Park in August 2006). Nicolosa is the first foal out of Al Cioccolato, who won at her only start, as a three-year-old at Forbury in May 2001. Woodley said that he felt confident after the fast lead time and with the pressure being applied in front. "I was confident until we were pushed four wide at the 400m," he said. "However, he knuckled down well in the straight." UNWANTED ARTISTIC COPPER SHOWS HER CLASS Prominent breeder Mike Howie was disappointed when Artistic Copper failed to attract a single bid at the 2012 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale. But now is quite happy that nobody was interested in the filly, who had a reserve price of $10,000. Howie decided to keep the filly and gave her to Andrew De Campo to be prepared for racing. Artistic Copper boosted her earnings to $83,125 when she gave a polished frontrunning exhibition to score a three-length victory over the fast-finishing Lipizzaner in the $21,000 Love Child On Nine WA Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artistic Copper, hot favourite at 3/1 on, started from barrier two and Matt White dashed her to the front after 120m. After moderate quarters of 31.7sec. and 31.3sec., Artistic Copper sped over the final sections in 28.7sec. and 28.3sec. to win easily from 8/1 chance Lipizzaner, who fought on solidly from sixth and last at the bell. Shez Sensational was a half-length away in third place after racing without cover in the middle stages. This gave Artistic Copper her second success in a feature event for fillies. White drove her to victory in the group 1 $100,000 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies last April. She now has raced 13 times for four wins and one placing. "She is a lot stronger this time in," said White. "She has got better with every run this preparation and she has put it all together now." Artistic Copper is by American stallion Artistic Fella, who earned $2,604,855 from 26 wins, ten seconds and four thirds from 52 starts. He set a world record rate of 1.49.3 over 1700m and in seven of his wins he rated 1.48.4 or better and in another five wins he rated faster than 1.50. ROBINSON GETS VEITCHTY HOME IN A THREE-WAY PHOTO Trainer Michael Robinson made full use of a needle-eye opening in the final stages of the Fat Tony On Nine Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to send 9/1 chance Veitchy through on the inside of the pacemaker Sargent Sonny to score in a thrilling three-way photo. The camera revealed that Veitchy had scored by a nose from 9/4 favourite Sparkling Seelster, with a head to Sargent Sonny, the 3/1 second fancy. "He always finishes strongly and hits the line well," Robinson said. "He's so consistent and I love driving him. It's a pleasure to have this little horse." Robinson was happy to take the trail behind the pacemaker Sargent Sonny, with Sparkling Seelster in the breeze and 6/1 chance Soho Highroller in the one-out, one-back position. Sparkling Seelster got his nose in front 20m from the post, but just failed to hold off the fast-finishing Veitchy. Veitchy, who won at seven of his 26 starts in New Zealand, has earned $73,795 from 11 wins and 21 placings from 71 starts. He is raced by Dion Poolman, Ashlee Cortopassi, Barry Street, Christian McArthur, Kirsty Ferguson, Simon Campbell-Hardwick, Brett King, Haley Morland, Frank Ranaldi and Richard McArthur. The six-year-old by Sands A Flyin is related to several good winners, including The Cavalier, who won 15 races and $248,089. He is the second foal out of I'llmakemyname, who had only one start, for a win as a three-year-old at Bay of Plenty in October 2005. NORTHVIEW PUNTER ANSWERS A FEW QUERIES "There has probably been a little bit of a question mark over him lately, whether he is still up to his best form," Gary Hall jun. said after driving Northview Punter to a convincing victory in the first heat of the Block On Nine Lewis Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Well the New Zealand-bred four-year-old, favourite at 10/9 on, certainly showed that he is in splendid form as he surged past stablemate Real Hammer and into the lead after 450m and then relaxed with a muddling 31.5sec. quarter before he sprinted over the final three 400m sections in 29.7sec., 28.1sec. and 28sec. to score by just over two lengths from Pacific Warrior, rating 1.56.8 over the 2130m journey. Pacific Warrior, second fancy at 9/4, raced three wide early and then in the breeze and he was gallant in defeat. Mein Guy ran on from sixth at the bell to be a fair third, with Mohegan Sun finishing boldly to be an eye-catching fourth. "There were questions about his form and tonight we were definitely going to find out," Hall said. "We got away with a bit once we got to the front. Northview Punter is a class animal and when he finds the rail he's a hard horse to get over." Northview Punter, a Bettors Delight horse who is prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., has already earned $208,215 from 16 wins and 11 placings from 34 starts. BOBBY TEAL LEADS AND MAKES IT FOUR WINS IN A ROW Former Victorian pacer Bobby Teal, who managed just one win from his first 25 starts in Western Australia and had a losing sequence of 20 three months ago, has struck a purple patch of form and his smart all-the-way win in the 2503m Mark Readings Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night was his sixth victory from his past nine starts and his fourth in a row. Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries has produced the Life Sign six-year-old in grand shape in the past three months and Kyle Harper has relished the opportunity to drive the standing-start specialist who has contested 44 stands in his past 45 starts. Bobby Teal, equal favourite at 7/4, was not extended in leading throughout to win by 5m from the equal fancy J Walker, who started from 20m and sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth at the bell. Lord Coburn (22/1) who raced three back on the pegs, ran on strongly to finish third. Once Bobby Teal jumped to the front Harper was able to get the gelding to relax and he was able to amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.1sec. before he lifted his rating and reeled off final quarters of 29.3sec., 28.5sec. and 29.5sec. "A lot of stands recently have been run the same way, with the leader being able to get it easy early and then run a quick time over the final 1200m," Harper said. "Most of these fields are made up of evenly-matched bunches. "There was nothing tonight to put a lot of pressure on and that makes it easy to get what you need, and if the horse is good enough he will prove hard to run down." Bobby Teal, owned by Albany businessman Harry Capararo and Queenslander Wayne Innes, has raced 72 times for 12 wins and 24 placings for stakes of $80,966. TAJIES GIRL FINISHES FAST TO CAUSE AN UPSET West Australian-bred four-year-old Tajies Girl caused an upset when she started at 31/1 and finished strongly to get up and snatch victory from 5/4 on favourite Hoylakes Firstlady in the 1730m The Voice On Nine Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win, by a head, was a triumph for young owner-trainer-reinsman Chris Butt, who had the Blissfull Hall mare poised to strike in the one-out, one-back position throughout. Hoylakes Firstlady started from the No. 1 barrier and was beaten out by Am Opulent from the No. 3 barrier. However, Am Opulent was unable to cross to the pegs and was forced to race without cover all the way. Butt bided his time and waited until the home turn before switching Tajies Girl three wide. Tajies Girl sprinted strongly and burst to the front in the final 15m, with the final quarter being run in a smart 28.6sec. Am Opulent fought on gamely to be third. The winner rated 1.58.5. Tajies Girl, a sound second to Bonsu at Pinjarra last Monday, drew favourably at barrier two in Friday night's race, but Butt was left to Ponder his tactics. "When the draw came out I wasn't sure how it was going to work out," he said. "And as things turned out we got the perfect trip and she got the job done. "She has been racing well in the country, but she is a bit limited and has to be held up for one run." Tajies Girl is out of Classic Rendezvous, who produced Lord Matao, who has had 42 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $65,040. Tajies Girl now has had 27 starts for four wins, six placings and $32,003 in prizemoney. Classic rendezvous was unplaced at three starts as a two-year-old in early 2000 before being retired. SHARDONS ROCKET APPROACHES $300,000 MILESTONE Seemingly indestructible nine-year-old Shardons Rocket moved a step closer to reaching $300,000 in prizemoney when Chris Lewis drove his assertively to score a solid all-the-way victory in the 2130m A Current Affair Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Owned by Ashley and Gavin McPhail and trained at Byford by Tony Svilicich, Shardons Rocket is an iron horse who has raced 137 times for 25 wins and 47 placings for stakes of $297,102. He was favourite at 5/4 on and Lewis drove him hard from the No. 2 barrier to get past the polemarker Touch Me Toes and into the lead after 80m. Pride of Colorado, resuming after a spell, raced wide early before moving into the breeze and then Lewis increased the tempo, with Shardons Rocket dashing over the final three quarters in 29.3sec., 28.4sec. and 29.2sec. He had to fight grimly to hold on and beat 9/1 chance Rojen Cruz, who raced three back on the pegs before Chris Voak brought him home with a fast run, out five wide on the track. Pride of Colorado battled on gamely to be a close third, a nose ahead of Whos Mistake. On All Fours, who had won at his two previous starts and had enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, lacked sparkle and finished sixth in the field of seven. by Ken Casellas  

A spur of the moment decision by part-time Pinjarra trainer Chris King to telephone Victorian Greg Stubbs almost four years ago, simply on a whim, seeking to lease veteran pacer Flamin Tact, has had far-reaching repercussions. They had never met, but Stubbs agreed to lease Flamin Tact and they thoroughly enjoyed their first association, with Flamin Tact winning eight races for King and running 16 minor placings for stakes of $113,565. "I didn't know Greg from a bar of soap, so it has been a great decision," said King. The liaison led to Stubbs sending Leda McNally to King early last year when Stubbs and trainer Tony Peacock were disappointed with the form of Leda McNally, who had managed just one win (at Cobram in January 2012) and three placings from 15 starts in Victoria and New South Wales for $7818 in prizemoney. There were no high hopes when Leda McNally arrived at King's stables. However, the mare, now a five-year-old, has exceeded all expectations and she hit the high spot of a Fabulous career when she outclassed her rivals in the $100,000 Make Smoking History Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night to boost her record to 44 starts for 17 wins and eight placings for earnings of $257,308. Her victory by two and a half lengths over the fast-finishing Famous Alchemist gave the 41-year-old King and 25-year-old reinsman Chris Voak their first success in a group 1 event. Now King is keenly looking forward to Leda McNally challenging the best mares in the country in the $200,000 Ladyship Mile at Menangle on March 2 next year. Stubbs, who travelled to Perth to watch Friday night's race, praised the efforts of King and his partner Barbra Gray, particularly for nursing the mare back to health after she had received serious leg and hoof injuries when she bolted in a paddock after taking fright during an electrical storm earlier this year. "We sent her over here a couple of years ago as a three-year-old filly who had won one race and now she has won well over $200,000," he said. "Tony Peacock and I bought her as a two-year-old with the intention of selling her. But she couldn't win enough races, so we sent her to Perth, and now the rest is history." Leda McNally, winner of the $40,000 Norms Daughter Classic the previous week, started from the No. 5 barrier on the front line on Friday night and was favourite at evens. Shannon Suvaljko sent the polemarker Loving You (8/1) straight to the front, but was happy to relinquish the lead when challenged strongly by Leda McNally, who burst to the front after only 250m. Voak then was able to get Leda McNally to relax and the mare strolled through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.3sec. and the next quarter in 29.3sec. before covering the next two quarters in 28.8sec. and 29.3sec. Leda McNally rated 1.57.6 over the 2130m journey and Voak produced a triumphant salute over the final 25m. Famous Alchemist (22/1) surged home from tenth at the bell to be second, with 12/1 chance Sensational Gabby, last in the middle stages, sustaining a strong burst to finish third, a head in front of 5/2 second fancy Bettor Cover Lover, who raced in the breeze over the final 1050m and fought on gamely. Voak said that he did not expect to find the lead so easily. "There were a lot of rumours going around earlier in the week that Loving You was going to lead from the pole," he said. "I had done a lot of track work for Tilley (Loving You's trainer Peter Tilbrook) a year or so ago and I knew deep down in my heart that he is not that sort of operator. He knows the class of his horse, so I think that the talk of Loving You holding the lead was just a bit of bluff." RED SALUTE SHINES AND GIVES OLIVIERI A TREBLE Noted frontrunner Red Salute made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier when he bounced back to top form and ended a losing sequence of nine with a bold frontrunning display to win the $25,000 The Kersley final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This completed a treble for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who had been successful earlier in the program with Imtheguy and Lord Coburn. It was also the first leg of a driving double for Chris Voak, who was successful in the following event with Leda McNally. Red Salute had started from the back line in four of his six starts since resuming from a spell and had drawn out wide in the other two starts. His prospects on Friday night soared after he drew the No. 1 barrier. He was a 5/1 chance and Voak sent him straight to the front and was able dawdle through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.2sec. before dashing over the next quarters in 29.5sec., 28.8sec. and 28.5sec. He went on to win at a 1.57.4 rate by a half-length from 27/1 chance Code Red, who sustained a powerful finishing burst from eighth in the middle stages. El Machine, favourite at 5/4, raced in the one-out, two-back position before starting a three-wide move with 1100m to travel. He fought on doggedly to be third, a half-length behind Code Red. "He's now had the ks (kilometres) in his legs and his two previous starts (for two thirds) were an improvement," Voak said. "He was probably found wanting over the final 50m at his previous start, but Ross has now got him back to somewhere where he needs to be. "He is going to improve, no problem, and can reach the potential that everyone involved with the horse thinks he can get to. His real ability lies in the 250m kick he's got." Red Salute, winner of the group 2 Binshaw Classic last February, is raced by his breeder Jeanine Diederich, Denise Trobe, Adrian Staltari and Tony Jones and has earned $122,189 from 12 wins and nine placings from 40 starts. By Life Sign, he is the fourth foal out of the New South Wales-bred mare Gold Stature, who had 74 starts for 14 wins, 28 placings and $61,562. LIVINGONTHEINTEREST LEVELS THE SCORE WITH HOKONUI BEN Lightly-raced six-year-old Livingontheinterest, beaten into fifth place behind Hokonui Ben last Friday week, turned the tables on his stablemate when he enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, and sprinted home strongly to win by 4m from Hokonui Ben in the Quitline Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This levelled the score between the geldings, who are trained by Gary Hall sen. They have met 12 times, with each winning three times and each finishing ahead of the other three times in the other six events. Hokonui Ben, favourite at 2/1 on and driven by Clint Hall, bowled along in front, but was found wanting in the closing stages over the 2536m journey. Kim Prentice got Livingontheinterest, second favourite at 8/1, away smartly from barrier three and the gelding raced without cover for the first 300m before Shardons Rocket moved to the breeze. Prentice bided his time before bringing Livingontheinterest home with a well-timed burst, which saw the New Zealand-bred gelding hit the front 100m from the post. The final 400m was covered in a moderate 29.2sec. after the two previous quarters had whizzed by in 28.8sec. and 28.7sec. Shardons Rocket held on well to be third, with Dasher VC (12/1) running home solidly, three wide, from tenth at the bell. Livingontheinterest, a winner at seven of his 15 starts in New Zealand, won at first seven starts in WA and now his 20 starts in the State have produced 11 wins and two placings to take his earnings to $198,465. "He has been going good, but just hasn't had the right draw," Prentice said. "They ran really good time tonight and he had a beautiful sit just in behind them. He found the line really well. Last week (when fifth behind Hokonui Ben) he didn't pace as well as he did tonight. But Gary has put the polish on him during the week and he has come up trumps." NORTHERN ASSASSIN EARNS A START IN THE GOLDEN NUGGET Busselton trainer Peter Bell will have a runner in the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget Championship next Friday night after Northern Assassin set the pace and scored a narrow victory over Northview Punter in the Smoke Free Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Punters declared Northern Assassin a good thing after he had drawn the prized No. 1 barrier and the stallion was sent out hot favourite at 6/4 on. Matt White sent Northern Assassin straight to the front and after easy first quarters of the final mile in 31.4sec. and 30.7sec., he gave the opposition something to chase after a third quarter in 29.2sec. and a sizzling final 400m in 27.4sec. Northview Punter (13/2) moved to the breeze 650m after the start and got on terms with the pacemaker 450m from home. He fought on grandly and was beaten only by a metre. Erskine Range (8/1) sat behind the leader and fought on to be two lengths farther back in third place. Northern Assassin, making only his fourth appearance at Gloucester Park, rated 1.58.2 and took his record to 16 starts for six wins, six placings and $43,833 in stakes. He is the first foal out of the unraced Parsons Den mare Let It Rock and is related on the dam's side to former top-flight performer Buck the Odds (121 starts for 31 wins, 29 placings and $307,547). "It was a bit of a worry early, not knowing how much gate speed he had," said White. "But we were able to hold the top and he got it pretty easy early and he kicked home good. Pete's done a great job with him and I think he's got a bit of bottom to him. He keeps giving and he's a high cruising sort of horse." PUNTERS DISREGARD KHUN RATHA AFTER NARROW FIRST-UP DEFEAT Promising three-year-old Khun Ratha resumed after a spell at Harvey last Tuesday week and was a warm 6/4 favourite who set the pace and was beaten a nose in the final stride by Live Life Fast. However, punters abandoned him and he was a 24/1 outsider in the 1730m Thank You For Not Smoking Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Most punters pinned their faith in last-start winners and stablemates Black Mr Mach (evens) and Offtocullect (10/9). But Khun Ratha, trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo and driven by his son Aiden, enjoyed the perfect one-out, one-back trail before sprinting home on the rain-soaked track to burst to the front in the final 30m and beat the pacemaker Black Mr Mach by a half-length, with Modigliani (15/1) a fast0-finishing third. Offtocullect, who started from the outside barrier in the field of seven, raced greenly at the rear and did not threaten danger before finishing in fifth place. A fierce downpour flooded the track and Khun Ratha did well to sprint over the final 800m in 57.6sec. He rated 1.59.7 and boosted his earnings to $17,513 from two wins and two placings from six starts. Khun Ratha, bred by his owner Paul Poli, is by Bettors Delight and is the first foal out of Holmes Hanover mare Calafia, who won at seven of her 21 WA starts and was retired after racing 43 times for eight wins and ten placings for $43,303 in prizemoney. JOHNS TARGETS THE TROTTERS CUP WITH Earl HARBOUR Waroona trainer-reinsman Nigel Johns is setting Earl Harbour for the $30,000 Trotters Cup in January after the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old scored a stylish win in the Breathe Easier Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. After praising the gelding for having perfect manners, Johns said that Earl Harbour was on track to win more races in Western Australia. "He will be set for the Trotters Cup and if he lobs handy he's a chance in any race here," he said. Johns won the 2009 Trotters Cup with Compressor. Earl Harbour ended a losing sequence of 14 (including eight minor placings) when he started at 16/1 and enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before dashing to the front on the home turn and winning by just under two lengths from 61/1 chance Keepyaguardup, with a further 8m to 5/4 on favourite Prince Eddie. Owned by Christine Germain, tote manager at Pinjarra Paceway and a sister of Johns' partner Deb Woodley, Earl Harbour was a consistent performer in Victoria and now has had 94 starts for nine wins, 30 placings and $90,027 in prizemoney. Earl Harbour has impressed at his four WA starts which have produced a win and two placings. "He is by Canadian sire Earl, like his stablemate All Flair," Johns said. "And he has got good manners, which are a bit better than the trotters by Sundon, even though I love the trotters by Sundon because they're brilliant horses, but are a bit fizzy. "Tonight's race was set up for Earl Harbour. He lobbed handy and there was a fair bit of speed, and I was just sitting there. He always performed well in Victoria against the good trotters and I think he will go a fair way here. I didn't even pull the plugs." OHOKA COURAGE GIVES HARPER PLENTY OF REASON TO SMILE Young reinsman Kyle Harper seized the opportunity to drive Ohoka Courage for the first time when he brought the seven-year-old home with a powerful burst to score an easy victory in the Quit Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harper was delighted when Forrestdale trainer Jarrad Humphries offered him the drive. He had taken special notice of the gelding at his previous start, at Northam last Tuesday week, when he surged past his pacer Springsteen to win a 2560m stand in fine style. "I have plenty of respect for Springsteen and I sat up and took notice of Ohoka Courage when he went past us at Northam," Harper said. "I was confident of winning tonight when the pace went on early. I was just sitting back and having a giggle. Ohoka Courage had plenty in reserve at the finish; he only does what he has to." Ohoka Courage started at 8/1 from barrier three on the back line in the 2130m event and raced in sixth position in the one-wide line while Herbies Dream set the early pace, with Captain Proud overracing in the breeze. Captain Proud pulled his way to the front 1300m from home and the second quarter of the final mile was covered in a slick 28.6sec. Mister Roberto, who raced in the one-out, one-back position, dashed to the front leaving the back straight in the final circuit while the 7/4 favourite Jay Bees Grin was badly blocked for a clear passage in the ruck. Harper timed Ohoka Courage's finishing burst to perfection and the gelding swept to the front in the final 100m to win convincingly at a 1.57.7 rate. Jay Bees Grin, who had been eased off the pegs by Colin Brown about 600m from home, got into a bad traffic jam and did not obtain a clear run until late --- when he rattled home to be a most unlucky third. Ohoka Courage has had 49 starts for 11 wins, 15 placings and stakes of $63,745. It was his third win from eight WA starts after winning four races in New Zealand and another four in Victoria. Ohoka Courage is a half-brother to Ohoka Dallas, who has earned $350,661 from 15 wins and 20 placings from 102 starts. IMTHEGUY RELISHES THE No. 1 BARRIER TO END LOSING RUN OF 11 Victorian-bred and Adelaide-owned pacer Imtheguy made the most of drawing the prized No. 1 barrier when Chris Lewis drove the five-year-old to an all-the-way victory in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Imtheguy, a heavily-supported 5/4 on favourite gave Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri the first leg of a treble and Lewis the first leg of a double when he dashed over the final 400m in 28.9sec. and held on to beat the 7/2 second favourite Heez Orl Black by a metre at a 1.56.6 rate. Imtheguy, owned by Mary Harding and Richard Noble, had put the writing on the wall with a very close second to Rakatup at his previous start, ended a losing sequence of 11 and looks capable of further city successes. Imtheguy won at four of his five starts in South Australia and at three of his nine appearances in Victoria before being sent to Western Australia where he has had 17 starts for two wins and five placings. He has earned $46,534 from nine wins and nine placings from 31 starts. He is out of the unraced Village Jasper mare Its All About Rose and is related on his dam's side to former star mare Jasmarilla, who had 213 starts in the 1980s for 50 wins, 68 placings and $503,000 in prizemoney. SANJAYA IS CLAIMED BEFORE LEADING AND WINNING There was plenty of activity before the Mick's Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when eight claims, all of $10,000, were lodged. Serpentine trainer-reinsman Chris Brew claimed Sanjaya, who started favourite at 6/4 on from the No. 1 barrier and set a brisk pace before winning by a length from stablemate This Time Dylan (7/2), with Marooned (11/2) finishing third after trailing the pacemaker throughout. Sanjaya, trained by Gary Hall sen., was driven aggressively by his son Clint and he gave his rivals little chance by speeding over the final four 400m sections of the final mile in 29.5sec., 28.9sec., 28.9sec. and 28.3sec. He rated 1.55 over the 1730m and took his record to 68 starts for 13 wins and 20 placings for stakes of $90,799. Sanjaya ended a losing sequence of seven and improved his WA record to 18 starts for three wins and four placings. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old won four times in New South Wales and another four times in Queensland before arriving in WA. Arnoux, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old trained by Hall sen., was claimed by Adam Jones of Treendale and there were six claims lodged for Marooned, a seven-year-old trained by Michael Brennan. The successful claimant was Gary Scott. LORD COBURN WINS EASILY AFTER AN EARLY SCARE Victorian-bred six-year-old Lord Coburn, the heavily-supported 6/4 on favourite, gave his backers a scare when he galloped for a couple of strides at the start of the Fresh Air Handicap, a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But Chris Lewis quickly got him into his pacing gait and after a spirited battle with the polemarker To Transcend, Lord Coburn forged to the front after 300m and gave a strong frontrunning display before winning by two lengths from outsider Anvils Big Punt, with a nose to To Transcend in third place. "I was happy once he got to the front," said Lewis. "We had done a bit of work, but I was still feeling confident. He finished the race off well." Lord Coburn, who is owned by a group of Mildura folk, Christopher Clohesy, Louise Tarrant, Richard and Daniel Tankard, William Robinson and Ian Watson, has had seven starts in WA for trainer Ross Olivieri for two wins and three placings. He has now earned $78,780 from 12 wins and 13 placings from 45 starts. By American stallion Grinfromeartoear, Lord Coburn is out of former outstanding New Zealand-bred mare Posh Jaccka, who had 132 starts for 29 wins and 43 placings for stakes of $331,155. STEWARDS SUSPEND VOAK FOR 11 DAYS Outstanding young reinsman Chris Voak has been suspended from driving for 11 days for causing interference in a race at Gloucester Park on Saturday night. He pleaded guilty to a charge of causing severe interference to Aldebaran Swannee at the winning post, just after the start of the European Prestige Handicap, a 2503m stand. He was driving Art In Your Face, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and burst to the front on the first turn before setting the pace and finishing second to Cometao. The stewards took into account Voak's guilty plea and his excellent driving record and they reduced a 19-day penalty to 11 days. Voak had driven in 910 races and had not been suspended since his previous suspension last January. Clint Hall started serving a 35-day suspension at midnight on Friday night. He was suspended for 21 days for his incorrect whip action when driving Famous Alchemist into second place behind Leda McNally in the $100,000 Mares Classic. This suspension was added to a 14-day penalty for an incorrect whip action when driving Waylade in a race at Bunbury the previous Saturday night. Brett Smith was suspended for 17 days for causing interference in the Kersley final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He drove Menelaus of Sparta, who checked The Feather Foot soon after the start. Nathan Turvey was suspended on Friday night for ten days for causing interference with Sonic Classic in the Quit Pathway Pace. Luke Edwards received a 16-day suspension for causing interference in a race at Northam last Tuesday and Stuart McDonald was suspended for four weeks for an unacceptable drive behind Celtic Crusader in a race at Narrogin on November 21. Celtic Crusader finished second to Pure Empathy. He pleaded guilty to a charge of causing severe interference to Sachin Arden (Shannon Suvaljko) at the winning post, just after the start of the European Prestige Handicap, a 2503m stand. He was driving Art In Your Face, who began speedily from the outside of the front line and burst to the front on the first turn before setting the pace and finishing second to Cometao. by Ken Casellas  

The Gloucester Park program started in spectacular fashion on Friday night when five-year-old Jilsander unwound a dazzling late sprint to career to an effortless victory over Even The Odds and Your Sisters Next in the Easy For Me With DBC Stakes.

The HALL stable's victory in the VEOLIA WASTE MANAGEMENT CONDITION STAND (2100m) with recent Victorian import Shining Key would have been well-received by many punters.

In scoring a narrow victory in the VEOLIA INDUSTRIAL CLEANING SERVICES STAKES (2536m mobile) with his recent purchase Backseat Dreamer, Oldbury-based horseman Shannon Suvaljko not only secured his connections the $10,050 first place cheque, he also received, free of charge, a wonderfully soothing mud-based facial!

Kim Prentice for his virtually all-the-way win on the ever-consistent Artful Mover in the Toyota M3 and better stand.

In defeating the in-form Tricky Interest (Gary Hall Snr and Jnr), the Jarrad Humphries trained and driven Jezal Theory made it three wins in a row and judging by last night's performance, punters should expect further wins from this son of Panorama in the weeks ahead.

Veteran pacer Machine Gun celebrated his 156th start by setting the pace and sprinting over the final 400m in 28.8sec. to win the R H Trotter Fruit and Vegetable Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night June 8th.

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