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Star pacer Soho Tribeca has returned to Perth in a quest to resurrect his career. And today he was back with Kim Prentice, the man who took him through the grades to become arguably the best pacer in Australia. “I didn’t expect to see him again, I’m very, very excited,” Prentice said. Soho Tribeca won a Golden Nugget and Vicbred 4YO final at Group 1 level for Prentice, but their biggest win together came in the 2018 Group 1 WA Pacing Cup. A year earlier Soho Tribeca ran second in the Fremantle Cup and third in the WA Cup. Owner Rob Watson transferred him to Mick Stanley in Victoria to chase the eastern states major races like the Hunter Cup (he ran 2nd to Lazarus in 2018) and Miracle Mile (he ran third to My Field Marshal last year) before a Queensland campaign was derailed by a broken leg just over 12 months ago. Stanley nursed Soho Tribeca back to the races, but his first run in 11 months was an inglorious seventh at Melton on June 15 when found to have had a virus. He hasn’t raced since. Prentice said the plan was to have Soho Tribeca back racing by early December with a view to chasing the Fremantle and WA Cups again at Gloucester Park in January.  The timing and move back to Perth obviously rules out any chance of an Auckland Inter Dominion tilt.   Adam Hamilton

Exciting colt Franco Edward is proving to be one of the best bargains in recent times and he will boost his earnings to $325,541 if he justifies the confidence of his young trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper and wins the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Kim Prentice bought Franco Edward for just $17,500 at the 2017 Auckland yearling sales on behalf of prominent WA owner Rob Watson and the brilliant pacer has already amassed $197,541 from nine wins and four seconds from 15 starts. Franco Edward has certainly exceeded early expectations and to illustrate claims that he is a marvellous bargain is that two of the most expensive purchases at the 2017 Auckland sales Kokomo Beach and Franco Stallone have not set the world on fire. Kokomo Beach was sold for $187,500 and Franco Stallone was sold for $190,000. Kokomo Beach, renamed Typhoon Stride, has been unplaced at two country starts in Victoria for stakes of $490 and Franco Stallone, renamed Puntarno Stride, has earned $1750 from a second at Horsham and a third at Maryborough. Franco Edward, by American stallion American Ideal, is the first foal out of the unraced Changeover mare Edinburgh Franco, whose dam Elisit Franco raced 16 times for three wins and three placings for stakes of $10,750 before being retired to stud where she has produced five winners, including star WA mare Eden Franco (35 starts for 14 wins, 15 placings and $189,465) and Franco Emirate (33 starts for 14 wins, 11 placings and $332,830). Elisit Franco’s dam Emily Franco managed one win and one placing for $3800 from ten starts, but she produced Franco Enforce, who had 70 starts for 28 wins, 19 placings and $593,738. Franco Edward warmed up for Friday night’s Derby in fine style with an effortless victory in 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning when driven by Lindsay Harper. He revealed his superb gate speed to set a dawdling early pace before scorching over the third 400m section of the final mile in 26.3sec. and then was not extended in coasting over the final quarter in 28.7sec. Whether Kyle Harper, who will contesting a WA Derby for the first time, rolls the dice and makes a spirited bid from the No. 4 barrier for the early lead is problematical. There is abundant speed on his inside in the polemarker Bletchley Park and Its Rock And Roll (barrier three). Harper predicted that Colin Brown would make full use of Its Rock And Roll’s dazzling early pace and would quickly assume the role of pacemaker. Expanding on his theory, Harper said that if Its Rock And Roll got to the front and Major Trojan (from barrier five) surged forward to race in the breeze that he could be fortunate to take the sit in the one-out, one-back position behind Major Trojan. He added that this was purely theoretical and that if Bletchley Park or Major Trojan got to the early lead and set the pace it would completely change the complexity of the 2536m race. “It’s exciting times,” Harper said. “Franco Edward’s point-to-point speed is exceptional. His final half in the Byford trial was very impressive as was his last-start second to Eloquent Mach last Friday week when he unwound a great finishing burst.” That close second to Eloquent Mach in the Group 2 Western Gateway Classic came after Franco Edward was restrained at the start from the outside barrier (No. 9) and was last in the field of 12 at the bell before charging home when the final two 400m sections (off the front) were covered in 28.3sec. and 28.5sec. The New Zealand-bred Major Trojan, who was sold to clients of champion trainer Gary Hall Snr for what was reported to be a substantial amount, is sure to prove extremely hard to beat on Friday night. The big colt has improved steadily since arriving in WA. He followed three successive placings behind smart stablemate Eloquent Mach with a commanding display to set the pace and win, unextended by three and a half lengths from Gee Jay Kay in a Derby prelude over 2130m last Friday night. Major Trojan will start from barrier five and star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr said that he expected a powerful showing from the colt. “He’s got a motor and I’ll have a few options,” he said. “We’ve got the right horse able to make a few runs in the race. I’m more happy with him going into the race than I was with King of Swing last year (when he raced in the breeze and beat the fast-finishing Bechers Brook by a head).” The powerful combination of Hall Snr and Hall Jnr have dominated the WA Derby in recent years, winning the classic four times over the past six years, scoring with Alta Christiano, Beaudiene Boaz, Chicago Bull and King of Swing. Hall Jnr said that he had served a tough apprenticeship in the Derby, with three second placings before his recent run of successes. He drove Ivory Trader for trainer Ross Olivieri in the 2002 WA Derby when the gelding finished a neck second to Tricky Vic and then finished a nose second with Ulrich behind Global Force in 2004 and was second with Macraider to Argent Treasure in 2008. Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed said he expected a strong showing from Bletchley Park from the coveted No. 1 barrier and that his son Mark had the opportunity to set the pace with the black colt who has led and won three times in a career of 12 starts for seven wins and two placings. Mike Reed, who has prepared WA Derby winners with Tricky Vic in 2002 and Ace of Spades in 2003 (both driven by his son), said that Bletchley Park was working strongly and he hoped he would go one better than stablemate Bechers Brook, who was 11th on the home turn and charged home, six wide, to finish a head second to King of Swing in the 2018 Derby. “At Bletchley Park’s final run as a two-year-old he finished a nose second to Franco Edward in the Pearl Classic and I believe that there’s not much between Franco Edward and my bloke. And we’ve got the good draw.” Apart from Major Trojan, the Hall stable will be represented in Friday night’s big race with Robbie Easton and Eloquent Mach. Robbie Easton (Micheal Ferguson) will be an outsider after drawing the outside barrier (No. 9), but Eloquent Mach (Stuart McDonald) will have admirers from barrier two on the back line. Eloquent Mach has won in fine style at each of his past three starts and cannot be underestimated. Veteran Banjup trainer Colin Brown, who drove the Greg Bond-trained Richard Henry in the 2005 WA Derby, is hoping for an all-the-way win with the speedy Its Rock And Roll, who is racing keenly and this season after excelling as a two-year-old with victories in the Group 1 Sales Classic and Group 2 Champagne Classic. Brown’s other Derby runner is Patrickthepiranha, who will be handled by Dylan Egerton-Green from the outside of the back line. Patrickthepiranha has won at nine of his 13 starts and is capable of surprising.   Ken Casellas

Stewards have today concluded deliberations, after hearing submissions on the question of penalty on 1 May 2018, following the determination to find Mr Kim Prentice guilty to a charge under Rule 190 with the particulars being that as the harness racing trainer he presented EXTRADITE NZ to race in Race 5 at Northam on 25 November 2017 where it raced and finished first, not free of the prohibited substance cobalt, evidenced by a concentration of cobalt in excess of 100 micrograms per litre in urine. After consideration Stewards determined the appropriate penalty to be a disqualification of twelve (12) months, however in view of the time that has elapsed since Mr Prentice was suspended in part and full pending outcome of this inquiry, the period of disqualification was reduced to expire as of midnight 7 January 2019. Pursuant to Rule 195 of the RWWA Harness Rules of Racing, EXTRADITE NZ was disqualified from the race in question and the placings amended accordingly with the commensurate implications to all stake money and payments to apply.  In determining penalty Stewards took into account: Mr Prentice’s long and unblemished record within the industry and co-operation at all stages of this matter The level of 150ug/L reported by the Chem Centre The nature of the substance and the seriousness of the offence in all of the circumstances That the Stewards were not satisfied that the use of VAM, as reported by Mr Prentice and as supported to some degree by his treatment records, fully accounted for the reported level in EXTRADITE NZ. Accordingly the inquiry had not determined to the requisite standard the reason why EXTRADITE NZ had exceeded the threshold level. Notwithstanding the above, that Mr Prentice had only recently introduced the use of VAM into his training without seeking professional veterinary opinion, despite industry notices which discouraged use of these products close to racing, advising trainers amongst other things;  • That a normal racing diet is more than sufficient to meet a horse’s nutritional requirements for cobalt and vitamin B12.  • That registered injectable cobalt supplements offer no nutritional advantages because incorporation of cobalt into the vitamin B12 molecule occurs within the horse’s gut.  • To consult with their veterinarians to ensure that their oral supplementation regimen provides only the amount of cobalt necessary to meet the scientifically established nutritional requirements of the horse for cobalt. “Whilst the threshold has been set at a level to allow for normal levels of cobalt supplementation through routine nutritional sources, trainers are advised that the administration of certain registered vitamin supplements, particularly by injection, close to racing may result in a level of cobalt in a subsequent sample that exceeds this threshold. Trainers are therefore advised to avoid the use of these supplements close to racing.  Examples of injectable vitamin supplements that contain cobalt and/or vitamin B12 include, but are not limited, to V.A.M. injection, Hemo-15 and Hemoplex.” •  Penalties issued in WA and other jurisdiction in relation to this prohibited substance •  The need for deterrence both general and specific Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity Ph: 9445 5427  

RWWA Stewards have been advised by the ChemCentre in Perth, that cobalt at a concentration in excess of 100 micrograms per litre, being the threshold prescribed in the Harness Rules of Racing, has been detected in a urine sample taken from EXTRADITE NZ at Northam on 25 November 2017 after it had completed and won in Race 5. This finding has been verified by the Racing Analytical Services Laboratory (RASL) in Victoria. Accordingly the Stewards will inquire into these reports on a date to be fixed which the Trainer of EXTRADITE NZ, Mr. Kim Prentice has been requested to attend. Acting under the provisions of Harness Rule of Racing 183(d) Stewards have directed that Mr Prentice’s licence to train be suspended forthwith pending the outcome of the Stewards inquiry to the extent that he is not permitted to nominate or present any horses to race. Mr Prentice licence to drive remains and he is permitted to drive on the condition that he does not undertake any activities associated solely with the training of any horses that are nominated or presented to race.  The trainers of any horses he is driving or handling must be present and directly supervising the horse at all times. RWWA - Stewards Inquiry - Mr Kim Prentice Denis Borovica – General Manager Racing Integrity Ph: 9445 5427

Harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is under a swab inquiry cloud and star pacer Soho Tribeca has left his team on the eve of a rich Gloucester Park cups double. Bryan Cousins is training the five-year-old for next Friday’s Fremantle Pacing Cup (2536m) and the WA Pacing Cup (2936m) on January 19. Prentice recently won two Inter Dominion Championship qualifying heats with Soho Tribeca, who ran sixth to Lazarus in the final. Prentice said yesterday his three-year-old winner Extradite had returned a positive swab. “He’s come back positive from a Northam race,” Prentice said. “We’re waiting on the confirmation sample’s result. We should know next week. Soho Tribeca’s training has been taken over by Bryan so there’s no risk stewards will scratch him from the Fremantle Cup if the second sample is also positive.” Prentice said he consulted Racing and Wagering WA integrity manager Denis Borovica and chief harness racing steward Barbara Scott before transferring Soho Tribeca. “They approved the move and told me Soho Tribeca could start in the cups even if I was involved in an inquiry,” Prentice said. “I’m guarding owner Rob Watson’s interests by stepping down as Soho Tribeca’s trainer. “There’s no way I want Rob to have his horse scratched from the big races because I face swab issues. “I’m still driving Soho Tribeca in trackwork and keeping a close watch on him.” Scott said yesterday the bay’s training change had been completed in a standard procedure. “Bryan Cousins has the all-clear to be Soho Tribeca’s new trainer,” Scott said. “He can enter him in races.” Watson has booked leading Victorian reinsman Greg Sugars to be on standby for the cups drives behind Soho Tribeca. “I’m most disappointed for Kim. He’s had a top association with Soho Tribeca, winning the Golden Nugget here and a Vicbred final in Melbourne with him last season,” Watson said. “The horse is at peak form and is due to tackle the Hunter Cup after Perth’s carnival.” Meantime, RWWA stewards yesterday adjourned an inquiry into the Gary Elson-trained Arturus’ positive swab. Cobalt was detected in samples from Arturus at Gloucester Park last November. Elson’s application for an adjournment was granted. Ernie Manning Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

Star harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is fully aware that the pacemaker has won the past four Village Kid Sprints and that the leader has won in six of the past seven years. Therefore, he will be extremely anxious to take advantage of the favourable barrier No. 2 and attempt to lead all the way with Soho Tribeca in the $50,000 Group 2, 1730m event at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Soho Tribeca, the only Australian-bred pacer in the quality field of ten, has raced only once over 1730m when he finished a head second to the brilliant Chicago Bull in the Mount Eden Sprint six starts ago, on October 20 when he worked hard on the outside of the pacemaker Ohoka Punter before getting to the front on the home turn. The winner rated 1.51.6 to smash the track record for the journey. Since that wholehearted effort, Soho Tribeca has enhanced his reputation with two commanding wins and a close second to San Carlo in heats of the Inter Dominion Championship before finishing with a determined burst to be sixth behind Lazarus in the $1.1 million final of the series. Prentice knows what it takes to win a Village Kid Sprint (originally known as the Celebrity Sprint), having been successful with Baltic Eagle in 2004 and Rakarebel in 2011. He trained Baltic Eagle, a 3/1 chance who raced without cover before taking the lead in the first lap and going on to win from La Valiente and the 7/4 on favourite The Falcon Strike. He drove Rakarbel for leading trainer Gary Hall Snr when the 9/2 chance led from barrier one and defeated Real Life and Tartary Gladiator. This year Prentice is certain to find Hall an extremely tough opponent. Hall, who is holidaying in New Zealand, prepares five of the ten runners --- Chicago Bull, My Hard Copy, Ohoka Punter, Norvic Nightowl and Zach Maguire. Hall has won the Village Kid Sprint five times --- with The Falcon Strike (2003), Rakarebel (2011), Hokonui Ben (2013) and Beaudiene Boaz (January 2016 and December 2016). He landed the quinella last December when 3/1 on favourite Beaudiene Boaz led from barrier two and held on to defeat Chicago Bull (a 7/1 chance from barrier four) by a head. The previous January he prepared the first three placegetters, Beaudiene Boaz (7/4 on), My Hard Copy (11/2) and Waylade (14/1). Soho Tribeca possesses excellent gate speed and relishes the role of pacemaker. He should be able to cross the polemarker Zach Maguire, who will have the experience of starting from the No. 1 barrier for the first time in 17 mobile events in Western Australia. Zach Maguire, who is in good form with two wins and three seconds from six starts in his current campaign, has good, but not exceptional, gate speed. He started from the No. 4 barrier and led after 90m before going on to win by a half-length from Motu Premier over 2130m in July this year.  Zach Maguire will be driven by Lauren Jones. He started from barrier five and got to the front after 150m when he won from The Spinster over 2130m six months earlier. At his only appearance over 1730m, he started out wide at barrier seven and impressed in finishing powerfully from seventh at the bell to win by six lengths from Frostyflyer at a 1.52.6 rate. Chicago Bull is handily drawn at barrier three and is sure to prove hard to beat. He has won at each of his past four appearances over 1730m and maintained his wonderful form when he trailed the pacemaker Tiger Tara and finished strongly to be second to Lazarus in the 2936m final of the Inter Dominion championship three Fridays ago. Chicago Bull will be driven by Stuart McDonald, who replaces the suspended Gary Hall Jnr. Inter Dominion finalists Galactic Star and Have Faith In Me, like Chicago Bull, are brilliant sprinters and should be prominent on Friday night. Galactic Star, trained by Skye Bond and driven by Ryan Warwick, has raced once over 1730m for a win and his two starts over 1609m at Bunbury resulted in another two wins. He excels at Gloucester Park where his 14 starts have produced seven wins, two seconds and one third. Galactic Star is closely related to former millionaire pacer Iraklis, winner of the 1996 Miracle Mile at Harold Park. He won a heat of the Inters in Bunbury last month and caught the eye with a fast-finishing fifth at 90/1 in the final. He will start from the No. 4 barrier on Friday night. Aiden de Campo has been engaged to drive millionaire six-year-old Have Faith In Me (barrier five). He won four Group 1 classics as a three-year-old in New Zealand and as a four-year-old he won the Group 1 Auckland Cup and had four starts, all over 1609m at Menangle in January and February 2016 for four wins --- in 1.52.1, 1.53.2 (Group 2 Paleface Adios Stakes), 1.48.8 (Chariots of Fire) and 1.47.5 (Miracle Mile). Chris Lewis has been engaged to drive Ohoka Punter, Nathan Turvey will be in the sulky behind Norvic Nightowl and Clint Hall will handle dual WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy. Ken Casellas

And, to be honest, he was never sure it would come. When Prentice climbed harness racing’s Mt Everest to win the 2003 Christchurch Inter Dominion, he never thought he would experience that buzz again. Nor did he think he’d get another horse as good, let alone better than, Baltic Eagle. Now he’s done one and could do the other. Soho Tribeca has been THE find of this Perth Inter Dominion series. As exciting as looked in the lead-up races, Prentice he is more confident now than he was before the series started of actually winning the final. “You think they’ll measure-up, especially the way he and Chicago Bull had been going and the times they were running, but you’ve never truly sure until you race the best,” he said. “That’s why that first heat when we took on Lazarus was so important. I was probably more relieved than excited to win it. “Just the way he did it so easily, enen though he had the draw and got to the front. It showed everyone he was as good as we think he is.” Soho Tribeca then posted a cosy second-round heat win at Bunbury before a second to emerging Victorian star San Carlo after he had to sit parked last Friday night. “He’s come through the heats really well and I wasn’t at all disappointed he got beaten the other night,” Prentice said. “I never doubted he’d cope with the three runs in a week to qualify and that’s how it’s turned out. He’s been great since and his work was outstanding earlier this week.” Prentice concedes the draw has set him a challenge. “You see barrier four and think ‘you beauty’, but then you see Tiger Tara in one, Lazarus in two and Chicago Bull in 10 (inside back row) and four starts to look a lot worse,” he said. “But I’ve got a horse at his top and he’s very versatile. Sure I’d love to have drawn to lead like Tiger Tara has, but if it’s a hotly contested race, which these races usually are, then everyone should get their chance. “My fella is tough, but he’s got good point-to-point speed as well.” So who is the horse to beat? “Lazarus, obviously,” Prentice said. “But it won’t be easy for him if he’s got to do most of the work. He’s a great horse, no doubt about it, but this track is a real leveller if you’re off the marker pegs the whole way. “Chicago Bull looks dangerous from his draw. Sure he’s going to need luck, but it looks like he’s going to get the easy run in behind Tiger Tara.” Beyond the final, Prentice is set to chase all the big races this season. “Yes, we’ll be going to races like the Hunter Cup and Miracle Mile,” he said. “I still think he’s on the improve and he’s going to get better and better for competing in these big races.”   Adam Hamilton

Kim Prentice admits he is awe of his emerging star Soho Tribeca. As impressed as Prentice was with the ease of Soho Tribeca’s opening round heat win, he’s more chuffed with how the five-year-old has come through his first taste of Inter Dominion racing. “He was raring to go again straight away. I’m actually surprised just how well he came through that run,” he said. “It gives me a lot of confidence heading to Bunbury on the quick back-up.” Not even a wide draw (gate six) has dampened Prentice’s confidence at Bunbury where he meets his arch hometown rival, Chicago Bull. While Soho Tribeca has drawn wide, it’s a better alley than Chicago Bull, who will start from inside the back row (gate eight). Soho Tribeca led easily last Friday, but will probably park outside the leader, who could be Ohoka Punter (gate two),at Bunbury. “That won’t bother me. I can control the race from there and he’s not fazed by racing outside the leader,” Prentice said. It will take plenty of luck and a masterful Gary Hall Jr drive for Chicago Bull to make it four wins from his last four clashes with Soho Tribeca. “I don’t think we’ve ever had him better, but the draw makes it hard,” Hall Jr said. In the first heat, NSW trainer Shane Tritton expect noted front-runner Yayas Hot Spot to resurrect his quest for a Grand Final berth. “He needed a draw and he’s got one with the pole. He’ll lead, it’s where he runs his best races, and I think he’ll be very hard to beat,” he said. “We haven’t given up hope of making the final that’s for sure. He actually ran a great race the other night from an impossible position the way the race was run.” The hurdle will be the great Lennytheshark, who has the back row (gate nine), but should trail through well. Any hope Have Faith In Me has of making the final depends on him improving sharply on an opening night ninth and overcoming a tough back row draw (gate 10) at Bunbury. The best of the Bunbury heats is the third where Lazarus will be looking to return to winning form. Tiger Tara looks the likely leader and main danger from the pole. “He’ll lead. He’s beginning quicker and quicker every time we ask him,” trainer Kevin Pizzuto said. “His run was huge the other night and I think he’ll be improved by it as well.” Adam Hamilton

The man who stands between Lazarus and a winning start to his Inter Dominion career says the New Zealand Cup hero is going to have to be a freak to beat him tonight. West Australian trainer-driver Kim Prentice knows how to win an Inter Dominion, pulling off the 2003 series at Addington with Baltic Eagle after long-time favourite Young Rufus, trained by Lazarus's preparer Mark Purdon, was scratched on the eve of the series. Prentice knows the series which starts at Gloucester Park in Perth tonight will be much stronger than the one Baltic Eagle won but he says he has even more equine firepower this time in Soho Tribeca. He has drawn perfectly at barrier two in the opening 2130m heat just after midnight tonight (NZT), with Lazarus having to give him a huge start from barrier nine.   That almost certainly means Lazarus will have to sit parked and try to out-grind the hard-running local and Prentice doesn't think that will happen. "It's great we've drawn so well and I'd like to think we'll find the front without spending too much petrol," he says. "If that happens and Lazarus can come around and beat us, then I'll be the first to put my hands in the air and say he's a freak. "Knowing what I do about my horse and how good he is, I'll be stunned if Lazarus can do that." Prentice said Soho Tribeca showed he was "better than ever" with a sparkling solo workout at Gloucester Park last weekend. "I've never had him better. This is his moment on Friday. Baltic Eagle was a great horse and will always be my champion, but Soho Tribeca has a bit more to him. He's got more speed. He's sharper," Prentice said. "He's a bit scary this horse. I still don't know how good he could end up being." A fighting second would not be a disaster for Lazarus and Purdon but the champion trainer says he would like to win as he is fully aware of the public expectation on the two-time New Zealand Cup winner. "It looks like I will be parked and have to do it the hard way but the horse is well and I won't be gifting it to Soho Tribeca if he is in front. We will make him work," says Purdon. If Lazarus can sit parked and win, this is his series to lose. The other Kiwi in the series, Have Faith In Me, has a lot to prove on tighter Australian tracks and meets flying local Chicago Bull in tonight's last heat, while Lennytheshark dominates betting in the middle of the three heats. Last Friday's outstanding NZ Free-For-All winner Ultimate Machete has the ace draw in tonight's Four-Year-Old Classic and has opened a $1.08 favourite from the ace, with the only concern whether he gets crossed at the start. Meanwhile, tonight's Alexandra Park programme is highlighted by the return of last season's speedy three-year-old Star Galleria, who has been trialling well ahead of his comeback. Michael Guerin

Harness racing driver Chris Voak sat behind Soho Tribeca (American Ideal) for the first time when the star five-year-old worked with two other pacers at Byford on Tuesday morning and he was left in awe at the stallion’s amazing talent. Voak will now drive Soho Tribeca in the Matt McDermott Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night when the Kim Prentice-trained pacer will start his spring and summer campaign with the main focus on the rich TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series at Gloucester Park in November and December. Voak has leapt at the opportunity to drive Soho Tribeca after Prentice was suspended recently for causing interference in a race. He has driven only twice for the Prentice stable when seventh with Soho Angel behind Rock Diamonds in the Caduceus Club Classic in February this year and when successful with Abraxas Blues at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon this week.  “I’ve had the experience of driving some outstanding horses of the calibre of Crombie, Dasher VC and Ima Spicey Lombo, and Soho Tribeca is one of the best horses I’ve sat behind,” Voak said. “We went even pace for a mile in the workout this morning (Tuesday) and then got home with a solid last half. I sat last and pulled out with a lap to go and won from The Odd Lover. We went under 55sec. for the last half and I haven’t driven a horse who can drop fractions like he can so easily. “Honestly, I haven’t driven one on the track who has done that and has felt like that. Kim told me that after he had driven Soho Tribeca to win the Golden Nugget last year that he’s the best horse he has trained, ahead of Baltic Eagle. I haven’t yet had the chance to speak to Kim to see how he wants me to drive the horse on Friday night. “What impressed me with Soho Tribeca was the ease in which he did it, and how much power he had. I haven’t had the opportunity to drive a horse of his capability in a race. I think he is the type of horse who in a good race will make his own luck. I’ve always had to drive horses who have had to rely on luck but this one is one who has the power to make his own luck.” Soho Tribeca, bred and owned by Rob Watson, faces the distinct disadvantage on Friday night of starting from the outside (No. 9) on the front line but he has the ability to overcome the wide barrier. He has not appeared since he raced wide early and then set the pace before winning the Group 1 Vicbred Four-Year-Old Classic for entires and geldings at Melton on July 8. He was in dazzling form in Perth last summer when he won the Golden Nugget from Nathans Courage and Chicago Bull before finishing second to Chicago Bull in the Fremantle Cup and third to the same pacer in the WA Pacing Cup. His chief rivals on Friday night are likely to be Itz Bettor To Win, Ideal Tyson and Bronze Seeker. Itz Bettor To Win is a highly-promising six-year-old who has had only 29 starts for 11 wins and seven seconds. He will be having his first start in Western Australia and will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier three on the front line. He is being set for the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series. “I have had him in my stable for five to six weeks and I expect him to run first or second on Friday night,” Olivieri said. He’s a big, strong horse whose major assets are his strength and speed. He is a serious horse and he will improve on whatever he does this week. “He’s got a win over in the Franklin Cup in New Zealand, beating top horses like Smolda, Have Faith In Me and Ohoka Punter.” Itz Bettor To Win raced 18 times in New Zealand for eight wins and three placings and his 11 starts in Victoria produced three wins and four placings. As a three-year-old Itz Bettor To Win won a 2700m stand at Alexandra Park, beating horses of the calibre of Border Control, Smolda and Have Faith In Me. Two months earlier, he won the Group 2 Alabar Classic, rating 1.55.9 over 2200m. As a four-year-old, he won the Franklin Cup, a 2700m stand, beating home Mossdale Conner, Have Faith In Me, Ohoka Punter and Smolda. Ideal Tyson, who gave a powerful frontrunning display to win from Mach Time and Bronze Seeker over 2130m last Friday night, faces a sterner test this week from out wide at barrier seven. He will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, who replaces Aiden de Campo, who will be in Melbourne preparing to watch the AFL grand final between Richmond and The Adelaide Crows on Saturday. The Peter Anderson-trained Bronze Seeker will be driven by Deni Roberts from the No. 1 barrier and the versatile nine-year-old should be prominent throughout the race. Ken Casellas

Oldbury trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice admits that Abraxas Blues is not particularly tough, but he admires the four-year-old’s sit-sprint ability. Abraxas Blues will start from the inside of the back line in the In Memory of Max Johnson Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Prentice gives the gelding a good chance of notching his seventh win at his 25th start. Abraxas Blues caught the eye last Friday night when he started from the outside of the front line and settled down in 11th position before moving to ninth (three wide) at the bell and sustaining the effort to finish a half-head second to hot favourite The Publisher over 2130m. He sprinted fast from the 400m and looked likely to overhaul The Publisher but The Publisher dug deep to prevail in a thrilling finish. “The way he sprinted I thought he was going to run past The Publisher,” Prentice said. “But The Publisher just nodded off and when I got alongside of him, he picked up. However, it was a very good run by Abraxas Blues. “Drawn the inside of the back line on Friday night, I’m hoping the pole marker Attack On Command holds up and leads. Then we’ll just be sitting along the fence and, hopefully, we’ll get the run at the right time. He loves just sitting back and it gives him a good chance.” Another four-year-old in Fanci A Dance, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett and with Chris Lewis in the sulky, will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and he looks a major winning chance after scoring at six of his past nine starts. He maintained his splendid form at Bunbury at his latest appearance, on July 8, when he raced wide in the middle stages and then in the breeze before winning from Our Zac Whitby, rating 1.57 over 2100m. Another well-fancied runner will be the Justin Prentice-trained and driven Quite A Delight, a winner at ten of her 27 starts, who will start from barrier five on the front line. She made a most impressive return to racing after an absence of almost seven months last Friday week when she finished powerfully to win from Mary Catherine and Donegal Rundlescreek, rating 1.58.3 over 2536m. Ken Casellas

Visiting Western Australian trainer Kim Prentice faces a race against time with his stable star Soho Tribeca’s fitness ahead of next Saturday night’s Group One Vicbred final.  Delight turned into serious concern in the space of 200m in Friday night’s semi-final for Prentice.  Soho Tribeca went from seemingly cruising towards an easy win to stopping sharply and just holding-on to win by a nose.  Prentice knew something wasn’t right.  “Turns out he’s got a foot abscess which hasn’t been able to blow out and his whole leg blew-up because of it,” Prentice said. “We’ve got another seven days now until the Friday. All we can do is hope he’s ok for it.  “Knowing what we do now, he was so incredibly brave on Friday night. I’m so proud of him.”  Soho Tribeca, placed behind Chicago Bull in the huge Fremantle/WA Pacing Cup double earlier this year, was one of the headline acts of the entire Vicbred series.  He was $1.80 prepost favourite on the Aussie TAB for the final before Friday night’s issue emerged.  The cloud over Soho Tribeca further boosts the final chances of exciting local General Dodge, who made it nine wins from just 10 starts when he powered to an arrogant all-the-way win in his semi-final.  “He’s got gears this horse. His cruising speed is so high. He does it so easily,” driver Jodi Quinlan said.  General Dodge has drawn gate nine for the final, while Soho Tribeca has gate six if he is fit enough to line-up.  Kiwi raider Moonrock, who ran a sound third to General Dodge in his semi, has gate eight (inside the back row) in the final.  The other huge talking point of Friday night’s Vicbred semis was the remarkably dominance of champion trainer Emma Stewart.  Stewart had a staggering 23 runners across the 12 semi-finals and converted impressively with 18 of them qualifying for next Saturday night’s Grand Finals.  She trained five of the 12 semi winners and also landed two quinellas.  The winners were: Nostra Villa (2YO filly), Whirily School (4YO mare), Major Times and Poster Boy (2YO colts/geldings) and Miss Graceland (3YO fillies).  Realistically, Stewart is well placed to win four of the Group One Vicbred finals next Saturday night.  Miss Graceland, who finally turned the tables on arch-rival Petacular when they last met in the Victoria Oaks final, gets her chance to win again from gate two in the final.  But, Petacular showed the most gate speed she ever has in her semi win and could be a chance of getting across Miss Graceland at the start from gate five in the final.  That clash will be a real highlight of the night.  Barring a huge shock, Stewart will win the 2YO colts and geldings final, most probably with sparkling youngster Poster Boy who will start from gate three.  Giant young stablemate Major Times looks the main threat from gate two in a final where Stewart has an incredible seven of the 12 runners.  Stewart also has a huge hand in the 2YO fillies’ final with semi-final winner Nostra Villa drawn gate 10.  Her Australian Gold final winner Nostra Beach had nothing go right when sixth in her semi, but made the final and snared the valuable gate three.  Other Kiwi interest in the Vicbred finals comes through former Allstars stable three-year-old Stars Align, who has been a revelation since being sent across to the Dean Braun stable.  His semi-final over the speedy Rocknroll Icon was awesome and he looks a standout in the final from gate four. Adam Hamilton

Exciting Perth pacer Soho Tribeca is the latest addition to the Brisbane harness racing winter carnival. But it will be a hit/run mission for the Kim Prentice trained four-year-old. The Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake on July 15 at Albion Park has been penciled in as the sole target before returning home to the west. Currently based in Victoria, the American Ideal entire is competing for the Vicbred Super Series and scored a dominant victory last Friday night at Ballarat and will again take a power of beating in this week’s semi-final at Tabcorp Park Melton. Soho Tribeca has drawn the ace in Friday night’s event. “Rob (Watson – owner) and I have held talks about this race in Queensland and it fits into his schedule nicely, it’s programmed for a week after the Vicbred final but there’s still plenty of logistics to consider, we’ve got to get through this series first and remain in good order.” Prentice said. Since relocating to the stable of Prentice, Soho Tribeca has quickly elevated himself into one of the country’s premier pacers and that was evident earlier this season with a number of outstanding efforts. Soho Tribeca captured the Gr.1 $200,000 Golden Nugget at Gloucester Park on December 9 before running two cracking races in the Gr.1 $300,000 Fremantle Cup and the Gr.1 $450,000 WA Pacing Cup in January. He was second in the Fremantle Cup while third in the WA Pacing Cup; both events were won by Chicago Bull. “He’s racing in very strong form and he’s a very good horse, both of his runs following a break this campaign has been very good and hopefully he can do it again this weekend. “We’ve had good draws in both races to date in Melbourne so hopefully our luck hasn’t run out just yet. We need to look into a flight from Melbourne to Brisbane but he’s going home for another short let-up once he returns home before being set for the Inter Dominion later this year. “I know he’s good enough to compete with the very best and he’ll have to be when he starts in the Inter Dominion so this is a good opportunity for him. It’s one race at a time but plans are certainly in place.” Prentice is no stranger to good horses and Inter Dominion glory having prepared 2003 winner Baltic Eagle while taking several drives behind Im Themightyquinn throughout his career. But Prentice is yet to race at Albion Park, in fact, the only time he’s been trackside was during the 2001 Inter Dominion series as a spectator. Soho Tribeca is raced by his breeder, Robert Watson and has won 13 of his 37 starts to date while banking more than $360,000. The Albion Park winter carnival officially starts this weekend before reaching its climax on July 15. Chris Barsby

HANDICAPPING systems are a big talking point right now, whether it’s in NZ of Australia. Harness Racing NSW unveiled its new system late last week and leading trainer Shane Tritton immediately came out with lavish praise. “This will be the saviour of (harness) racing in NSW,” he said. “And metropolitan racing will become the place to be … horses will come from all over the country to compete at Menangle.” Despite Tritton’s support and that of most others trainers who compete regularly at Menangle, HRNSW stressed it was just being trialled for three months – July-September this year – for comparison against the same period last year. Betting turnover, field sizes, number of short-priced favourites and stakeholder satisfaction are the KPIs with which a longer term decision will be made. David Aiken is another training excited by the trial. “I’ve usually got five or six horses in my Menangle stable, but it could be up to 14 or 15 now with the new handicapping system,” he said. Handicapping systems are never easy to explain, but the keys to this NSW system are: * Horses placed in races based on stakemoney earned at their past five starts. * Barrier draws done within those races based on stakemoney earned at past five starts. * Up to six levels of races with staggered stakemoney down from level one to six. * 20 per cent discount on stakemoney earned for mares to aid them in barrier draws * 20 per cent discount on stakemoney earned for pacers when driven by concession drivers to aid them in barrier draws The NSW industry mood seems strong around this system and it will be interesting to see if has as positive effect as Tritton predicts in the three-month trial period. YOUNG Kiwi superstar Vincent survived a scare to win his NSW Breeders Challenge semi-final at Menangle last Saturday night. Most expected the NSW and NZ Derby winner to stroll to the front and win as he liked, but instead outsider Geldof overraced outside Vincent once he found the front and they scorched through a 54.9sec first half. Luke McCarthy steadied Vincent with a 28.9sec third split and ripped home in 27.2sec to hang on a win by 1.1m over the fast-finishing Pretty Hot in a 1min51sec mile. The Victorian raiders have certainly made their impact on the NSW Breeders Challenge semi-finals. Last Saturday week, Victorian-trained pacers won three of the six semis at Menangle and three-year-old colt Jilliby Bandit added to the strike when he caused a minor upset last Saturday night. The superbly-bred Marg Lee-trained colt – by Rock N Roll Heaven out of former top filly Keppel Bay – came from behind the leader in a hotly-run semi to win in a 1min52.4sec mile. The win thwarted a massive betting plunge on NSW Derby heat winner Atomic Red, who could only manage fourth after being backed from $4 into $1.60 and coming from a back row draw. In the Challenge 3YO fillies’ division, Dont Think Twice showed why she will dominate betting in the final with a dominant al-the-way semi win in a 1min53.1sec mile. The Breeders Challenge finals are on the same card as the Len Smith Mile at Menangle next Sunday. IT only took former Kiwi mare Supersonic Miss two comeback runs to show she still had some serious star power. The five-year-old strung together nine successive wins – the last six of those when switched from the Allstars barn to Kerryn Manning’s stable – before injury forced her off the track in March, last year. Supersonic Miss returned with a good second to reigning Breeders Crown champ Rocknroll Magic at Melton on June 9, then regained winning form at the same track last Saturday night. She smashed the clock, too. Despite sitting parked, she posted a 1min53.9sec mile rate for 1730m and ripped home in 55.9 and 27.5sec. ONE of Western Australia’s best pacers is heading to Victoria. Soho Tribeca, a placegetter in the big Group 1 WA and Fremantle Cups double earlier this year, is returning to the state where his career started to chase the Group 1 Vicbred 4YO final at Melton. Trainer-driver Kim Prentice confirmed the trip when Soho Tribeca returned from a spell with a gutsy third after doing all the work in slick times at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The other key race at Gloucester Park last Friday, the free-for-all, went to former Kiwi sit-sprinter The Bucket List, who swooped off a hot pace to win impressively for trainer Michael “Mouse” Brennan and driver Michael Grantham. The race was set-up for the backmarkers when Gary Hall Jr threw everything at easing favourite Beaudiene Boaz to try and cross Sheer Rocknroll at the start in a blazing 35.3sec lead time. He failed to get across, but spent plenty of petrol and dropped in behind the leader. Beaudiene Boaz did a good job to finish a distant third, while classy stayer Our Jimmy Johnstone caught the eye by flashing home late for a close second. Classy three-year-old Mitch Maguire continued his big season by posting his 10th win from just 13 starts this term in last Friday’s ninth event. ONE of Australia’s biggest “buzz” pacers, San Carlo, could be a surprise raider at the Queensland Winter Carnival. The Steve O’Donoghue-trained six-year-old has been restricted to just 16 starts by a string of injury issues, but he’s won 14 of those and looked elite at times. Arguably his best win yet came at Bendigo last Saturday when he sat parked and toyed with a strong field in a 1min55.4sec mile rate for 2150m. The line in the sand for a Queensland trip comes at Maryborough on Thursday when San Carlo tackles the Leo Crameri Memorial. “That’s his next target and it’s likely he will meet plenty of classy rivals but it will also tell us if Brisbane is on or off. A victory will go a long way in making the northern trip a reality, Brisbane will be tough but it looks a good opportunity for him,” O’Donoghue told “I don’t think he shocked us in anyway last week because we’ve known for some time how good he really is but to do it in the manner in which he did was the best part. He was really strong. “And that’s his best asset; he’s a very strong horse.” GIANT-KILLER Onlykidding snared her second Group 3 win this season when she swamped a strong field of mares to win the Frith Stakes in a slick 1min51.7sec mile at Menangle last Saturday night. Trained and driven by Dennis Picker, Onlykidding previous won the Group 3 Ladyship Pace at Menangle on March 10. The eye-catching run of the Frith Stakes came from former Kiwi mare Rocker Band, now in the care of Mark Jones. She rocketed home too late for a close third. In contrast, top class mare Cyclone Kate, the $3.70 favourite, finished last and stewards queried the run and ordered veterinary tests. IT’S not just Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark winning feature races for David Aiken’s stable. Aiken has always liked his trotters and snared a Group 3 win when the in-form Maorisfavouriteson won the Wagon Apollo free-for-all (2240m) in a slick 1min57.4sec mile rate last Saturday night. Adam Hamilton

Classy Soho Tribeca returns to the track on Friday night and harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is looking forward to getting back in the bike behind his star four-year-old entire. Soho Tribeca makes his reappearance in the Karri Forest Motel Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park and, despite starting from the outside of the front line, appeals as the horse to beat. Bred and owned by prominent owner Robert Watson, Soho Tribeca did his early racing in Victoria under the guidance of Jayne Davies where he competed against the best youngsters in Australia. He won nine races on the east coast and ran many placings, but he has blossomed since Prentice took over his training in October last year. The Oldbury horseman raced Soho Tribeca six times at headquarters for three wins and two placings. One of those wins was in the $200,000 Golden Nugget where he defeated Chicago Bull and his two placings were a second in the $300,000 Fremantle Cup and a third in the $450,000 WA Pacing Cup, both times behind Chicago Bull. Prentice said Soho Tribeca had benefited from a "really good spell" and had been back in work for about three months. "He's a very, very nice horse," Prentice said. "He's the best horse in the race, but it's not going to be easy from where he's drawn. You know, you get a horse like Rabchenko who can lead and run 1:56 for the trip and we're doing it tough out wide - it just makes it hard and I don't want to gas him first-up. But in saying all that, I'm confident he can get the job done on Friday night." Prentice said if Soho Tribeca performs as well as he expects at his return and pulls up soundly, then it's all systems go for the rich Vic Bred Series over the next couple of weeks. "He'll be on a plane next Tuesday for Victoria if all goes according to plan," Prentice said. "There's heats coming up for the series next weekend and then there's a $125,000 final for the four-year-olds. After that he'll come back home and we'll give him a break before setting him for the Inters." Prentice knows what it takes to win an Inter Dominion Final. He trained and drove WA champion Baltic Eagle to an all-the-way victory in the 2003 Inters in Christchurch. In the same year Baltic Eagle won the WA Pacing Cup and retired with more than $746,000 in prize money. Prentice is reluctant to compare horses from different eras, but he knows he has a good one in Soho Tribeca. "Soho Tribeca is something special," Prentice said. "I don't know if I'll ever get another one as good as him. He's not a push-button horse. He can over-race at times and seems at his best when he finds the front and can relax. Hopefully he'll be too good for them on Friday night and then we'll be off to Victoria on Tuesday." Wayne Currall

Oldbury harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is breathing a sigh of relief with his Bettor's Delight filly Soho Angel showing all the signs of returning to her best form. She has a losing sequence of six, after winning at five of her previous ten starts, which also included two seconds and two thirds. Soho Angel is nicely drawn at barrier two on the front line in the $18,000 Sky Harness WA Oaks Prelude over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Prentice has high hopes that she will bounce back to top form. “Her past couple of starts had me a little bit wondering,” Prentice admitted. “But I have run a blood count and we’ve had a bug go through the stable which knocked a few of the horses around. “However, Soho Angel is eating better than ever now and her work on Saturday was the best it has been since she has been here (from Victoria). So, I expect her to go very well this week. From barrier two, I’ll be coming out, trying to lead. Whether we can, I’m not quite sure. But she has got good gate speed and we’ll be using it.” Soho Angel has worked hard in the breeze at her past two outings --- for a third to Im Stylish at Bunbury and a fourth behind Im Stylish and Allamerican Queen at Gloucester Park last Friday week. Im Stylish, trained by Justin Prentice, will start from barrier two on the back line with Tom Buchanan in the sulky. She looms as a major player in a field of smart three-year-old fillies, which includes She Could Be Good, Lady Luca, Red Hot Roxy, Sarah Goody and Susies Desire. Ryan Warwick will drive She Could Be Good for trainers Greg and Skye Bond and he gives the filly a solid each-way chance. She Could be Good, a winner of two races in New Zealand earlier this season, made a winning Australian debut when Warwick drove her to victory at Northam on Thursday of last week. She showed good ability to overcome breaking in running and racing out wide. “She then felt sharp in a trial at Byford on Sunday (when she finished strongly to win from Kerrin Joseph),” Warwick said. “She didn’t feel quite like that at Northam. She’s an honest little filly with gate speed and good high speed.” Ken Casellas

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