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Talented six-year-old El Jacko, one of the few pacers to have beaten champion Chicago Bull in Western Australia, will reappear after a brief spell when he contests the $30,000 Group 3 TABtouch York Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. For the New Zealand-bred gelding, who is being aimed at feature summer carnival events, this will be a rare experience starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier. El Jacko, owned by Skye Bond and prepared by her and her husband Greg, has had 33 starts in WA for 14 wins and 12 placings and the only time he started from the No. 1 barrier was at Pinjarra in February 2016 when he set the pace and won by four lengths from stablemate Donegal Kahlum. That remains as his only all-the-way victory in Australia. He has worked forward in the first lap to take the lead only three times. Many of his wins have come after he has worked hard in the breeze. El Jacko possesses excellent gate speed and leading reinsman Ryan Warwick is sure to take advantage of the draw by attempting to hold up and set the pace. He has been out of action for 11 weeks since he was a 5/1 on favourite from barrier No. 8 and finished a 5m second to stablemate and pacemaker Mighty Mr Sharkey over 2536m at Gloucester Park on August 24 when the final 800m was covered in 56.8sec. It will not be an easy task for El Jacko to hold the early lead against several speedy beginners, including Overboard Again (barrier two), Eden Franco, Maczaffair, Devendra and Argyle Red. Overboard Again, prepared by Gary Hall Snr, will be strongly fancied, despite his seventh behind Vampiro in the James Brennan Memorial last Friday night when he was a $45 outsider from the outside of the back line. He raced four back on the pegs and was hampered for room in the closing stages. Overboard Again impressed a week earlier when he started from barrier four, raced three wide early and took the lead after 500m before bowling along in front and winning by a half-length from odds-on favourite Eden Franco, with final quarters of 27.8sec. and 28.2sec. Lauren Jones has been engaged to drive Overboard Again for the first time, in the absence of star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr (in New Zealand) and Stuart McDonald (serving a seven-day suspension). The Colin Brown-trained and driven Eden Franco was gallant in defeat when second to Overboard Again last Friday week and she is set to run a bold race. That strong effort followed Eden Franco’s excellent first-up all-the-way win over Mitch Maguire. Maczaffair, the other mare in Friday night’s Cup, will start from the No. 4 barrier and is capable of vast improvement after unplaced runs at her past two starts. She will again be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green for trainer Mike Reed. The prospects of the Justin Prentice-trained and driven Rocknroll Lincoln, a winner at five of his past nine starts, slumped when he drew the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. For the record, El Jacko raced without cover before winning from the pacemaker Franco Rayner and Chicago Bull (at his Australian debut) in a 1730m event for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on November 27, 2015. Then, El Jacko again asserted his authority over Chicago Bull when he won the 2692 Alcoa Cup at Pinjarra on September 26, 2016, beating the runner-up, Chicago Bull, by 2.2m.   Ken Casellas

Hall Of Fame trainer Gary Hall capped an outstanding championship-winning season with a quartet of winners at Gloucester Park last Friday. Stable star Chicago Bull, Speedman, Beaudiene Beaufighta and Fake News boosted Hall’s 2017-2018 metropolitan tally to 115 wins, more than double his next rival. In a season of major highlights Hall said reaching a personal milestone in July gave him particular satisfaction when he surpassed 2500 career victories. Hall celebrated bragging rights as the leading metropolitan and state trainer with son Gary Jnr, who reigned supreme as Leading Metropolitan driver. Skye Bond also claimed four winners in the final meeting of the Gloucester Park season, making a late dash to join Ross Oliveri in second position. Shannon Suvaljko finished second to Hall Jnr as Leading Metropolitan Driver, but claimed honours as Leading State Driver with 179 wins. Jocelyn Young and Corey Peterson fought out a titanic struggle for honours as Leading Concession Driver, but couldn't be split after 49 wins each. LEADING METROPOLITAN TRAINER Gary Hall Snr 115 Ross Oliveri 52 Skye Bond 52 Nathan Turvey 30 Mike Reed 28 LEADING METROPOLITAN DRIVER Gary Hall Jnr 120 Shannon Suvaljkjo 81 Chris Lewis 80 Ryan Warwick 78 Chris Voak 64   LEADING STATE TRAINER Hall Snr 153 Oliveri 115 Bond 90 Prentice 69 Turvey 65   LEADING STATE DRIVER Shannon Suvaljko 179 Gary Hall Jnr 173 Chris Lewis 169 Chris Voak 154 Ryan Warwick 135   LEADING CONCESSION Jocelyn Young 49 Corey Peterson 49 Mitchell Miller 43 Madeleine Young 33 Deni Roberts 32   LEADING JUNIOR DRIVER Michael Grantham 26 Sturat McDonald 20 Corey Peterson 16 Mitchell Miller 13 Deni Roberts 08       Racing & Wagering Western Australia

The Skye Bond-trained El Jacko won’t start at any fancy price, but several members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have labelled the five-year-old gelding as the best of good things at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The West Australian’s Ernie Manning, last season’s leading tipster Stuart Lowe, Guild president Wayne Currall and veteran tipster Bill Brindley have all made El Jacko their star bet. Manning spoke for his colleagues when he said El Jacko should atone for his defeat at headquarters last week by Whozideawasthis. “El Jacko confirmed his quality when winning from The Accumulator two starts ago,” Manning said. “He then endured a tough run when he faced the breeze and ran second to Whozideawasthis last Friday night. He has the impressive tally of six wins and four places from 13 starts at GP.” TABradio’s Matt Young is keen on Bad Round. “Bad Round comes up with a good controlling draw and looks the leader and the one to beat,” Young said. “Doesn’t appear to be much mid-race pressure and I think he'll go the trip.” GPTV’s Ken Casellas believes WA Derby runner-up Bechers Brook can go one better on Friday night. “Victorian-bred Bechers Brook possesses a sizzling late burst of speed and this vital ingredient should carry him to victory on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He gave a superb performance in the WA Derby last Friday week when he was 11th on the home bend before charging home, six wide, to finish second, just a head behind King  Of Swing. He is my best bet on a somewhat tricky 10-event card.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft agrees with his colleague. “Bechers Brook should relish a massive drop in class on his recent outings,” Havercroft said. “His finishing effort when second in the WA Derby was ridiculously good, making ground when six wide on the home turn from a near impossible position.” Longshot king Pat Harding is prepared to give the disappointing Tuas Delight another chance. “Although the heavily backed Tuas Delight put in a shocker last Friday night, I think he can redeem himself in the opening event this week,” Harding said. “Obviously Lord Willoughby and The Accumulator will be his main rivals, but I think Tuas Delight can get punters off to a good start.”   VALUE BETS Ernie: Smackwater Jack, an Auckland and Gloucester Park winner this season, has been out of luck when checked and caught on the inside at his past two starts. Stuart: My value bet is Bad Round, who ran a good third at Pinjarra on Monday after breezing. Held up at previous run here. Well drawn in not an overly strong field.  Wayne: Ohoka Darcy flew home last Friday for a most unlucky third. Goes up in class but has drawn to get a soft run and could surprise at odds. Bill: Major Catastrophe back down to a mile, held himself in good stead during the Nights Of Thunder series, should run very well even from a tough barrier. Matt: Besotted, in the last, is getting back to his better form. It’s an even race and he was unlucky last start. Ken: Oneonthewood has been unplaced at his past five starts, but he caught the eye with his strong-finishing fourth behind Jimmy Mack at GP on Tuesday of last week. Ryan: Springsteen never got a look when held up in the Kellerberrin Cup on Sunday. His prior form hadn’t been too bad and this isn’t a strong field. Pat: A good win by The Bucket List a fortnight ago. Nice to see him return to form and I think he can repeat the dose this week in the eighth race. Good punting.   Wayne Currall

Smart New Zealand-bred harness racing five-year-old El Jacko still has difficulty in negotiating the final bend in his races at Gloucester Park, but he has the class to overcome this wayward habit and win the 2130m Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace on Friday night. The Skye Bond-trained El Jacko will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line and Ryan Warwick is likely to adopt similar tactics he used last Friday night by using the gelding’s gate speed to forge forward in the early stages in a bid for the lead or to race outside the pacemaker. Last week El Jacko raced three wide early and then outside the pacemaker Courage To Live before taking the lead 450m from home. He was still in front approaching the home turn, but began to hang in and went inside some marker pegs before being overhauled in the final 110m by Whozideawasthis and finishing a 4m second to that pacer. Hardest for El Jacko (a winner at 13 of his 29 starts) to beat is likely to be Arthur Lowe, who will be driven by Jocelyn Young from barrier two on the back line. Arthur Lowe, trained by Nathan Turvey, was restrained from barrier eight in a 2536m event last Friday night when he impressed in finishing strongly from ninth at the bell to be second to Futurist. McArdles Gem also will have admirers after his victory over Carter Micheal at Narrogin last Friday night when he sat behind the pacemaking Carter Micheal before finishing with a strong burst. Warwick will start the program on Friday night with new drives from outside the Bond stable. He will handle Tisadream from the favourable barrier two in the opening event and The Spinster from barrier five in race two. He will drive Tisadream for Capel trainer Andrew de Campo in the Book Into the $50 Beau Rivage Buffet Special Pace, with the handy four-year-old resuming after a three-month absence. Tisadream, who finished third to stablemate Handsandwheels in the WA Derby in April 2017, is capable of a bold first-up showing. However, Aiden de Campo gave punters a valuable lead by opting to drive stablemate The Accumulator from barrier eight. The Accumulator started from the No. 9 barrier in the Clarke final last Friday night and maintained his excellent form when he was last in the middle stages and sustained a strong three-wide burst from seventh at the bell to finish fourth behind Whozideawasthis. This followed The Accumulator’s splendid second to El Jacko the previous week when he fought on grandly after racing without cover. The Accumulator is expected to vie for favouritism with The Ross Olivieri-trained Lord Willoughby, who looks an excellent chance from the favourable No. 3 barrier on the front line. Lord Willoughby Was buried in eighth position at the bell before flashing home to finish third to Whozideawasthis and El Jacko last Friday night. Ken Casellas

Detroit Lilly, the least experienced runner in the 8 On The Point Chinese Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night, arrived in Western Australia from New Zealand a month ago and has the ability to fight out the finish at her Australian harness racing debut with several well-performed three-year-old fillies, including Cott Beach, Slick Artist, Lady De La Renta and Infinite Symbol. Prepared at Forrestdale by Skye Bond, Detroit Lily is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line but she possesses sparkling gate speed and Ryan Warwick should be able to settle her in a forward position. Warwick drove Detroit Lily in a 2150m Byford trial three Sundays ago when she began smartly from barrier six in a field of eight and mustered plenty of speed to dash to the front after 250m before setting the pace and winning convincingly by a neck from Allwood Peacemaker at a 1.59.2 rate. She had only two starts in New Zealand, winning on debut at Wyndham on November 19 last year and finishing second at Invercargill on December 9. At Wyndham, Detroit Lily began from barrier five in a field of 14 and surged to the front after 300m. She set the pace and won, unextended, in a time of 1.55.4 over 1609m. At Invercargill she started from the back line and quickly moved to the one-out, one-back position before racing without cover for much of the final circuit when second to Nota Bene Denario (beaten by five lengths) in a field of 11. Detroit Lily, by Betterthancheddar, is the eighth foal out of Abercrombie mare Acropolis. She is a half-sister to former smart mare Yankee Dream, who earned $277,214 from 15 wins and 18 placings from 56 starts.       As a two-year-old in May 2009 Yankee Dream won a $156,000 Group 1 fillies championship at Alexandra Park. Three years later she won four races in Victoria and she had her final three starts at Gloucester Park in November-December 2012. She was unplaced in her three WA appearances, with her best effort her sixth behind Baby Bling in the Group 1 Mares Classic. Cott Beach, prepared by Coolup trainer Kristy Elson, has won ten times from 18 starts for earnings of $185,117 and she is sure to prove hard to beat, even with the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Nathan Turvey is expected to use her dazzling gate speed in a bid for the early lead. Cott Beach began brilliantly from barrier nine in the Group 2 Daintys Daughter Classic last Friday week when she set a brisk pace before wilting to finish third behind Slick Artist and Infinite Symbol. Slick Artist, who finished strongly after enjoying a perfect trail three back on the pegs, gave a splendid frontrunning display to win easily over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday. She is drawn out wide at barrier eight, but trainer Gary Hall Snr declared that she is getting better with every run. “She ran home in 27.1sec. in a weak field on Monday and must be considered,” Hall said. In-form reinsman Chris Voak said that Lady De La Renta had sound winning prospects, even from the outside of the back line. “She is very talented and I rate her right up there with the best of them here,” he said. “I think the draw will suit and I’d say she is one of the main chances.” Lady De La Renta, trained by Annie Belton, had a very hard run before finishing at the rear in the Daintys Daughter Classic. But she was most impressive at her previous outing when she worked hard in the breeze and won from smart colts Bechers Brook and Speed Man. Ken Casellas

Someone once said that a week is a long time in politics, but Forrestdale trainer Skye Bond and stable driver Ryan Warwick could be forgiven for thinking that 24 hours is a long time in harness racing. The stable sent five runners to the Albany Cup meeting on Friday, February 2 and managed two second and two thirds; and to cap off a bad night the truck broke down on the way home from the Great Southern. Fast forward 24 hours and Warwick headed off on a much shorter trip to the Northam Cup meeting with three runners hoping that the bad luck from the Friday night was consigned to history. The three-year-old Bettors Delight gelding broke its maiden status in the opening race and the night began to look a whole lot better when Better B Chevron showed blistering gate speed to lead throughout to win the Village Kid Sprint. After Warwick was able to steady the pace in the middle stages, Better B Chevron showed Village Kid like speed to run the last half-mile in a scintillating 55.8 seconds to hold on and win from Runrunjimmydunn and Madame Meilland. With the memories of Friday night rapidly fading, Warwick took advantage of the front-line handicap and urged Tas Man Bromac to the lead in the $30,000 Grafton Electrics Northam Cup. Once in charge Tas Man Bromac always look comfortable and although the final margin was just a half-head the gelded son of American Ideal won impressively from Major Catastrophe and Major Rush. Warwick has always enjoyed success at the Burwood Park track having driven some 136 winners there and Tas Man Bromac gave him his second win in a Grafton Electrics Northam Cup after he won the 2016 running with Our Ideal Act. Needless to say the trip home from Northam was much more upbeat that the previous night’s return home from Albany. Warwick chasing a second win in Dempster Memorial this Saturday. In 2016 he drove McClinchie to victory in the Peter Dempster Memorial after having won the Northam Cup earlier that same year. Warwick will be hoping history to repeat itself this Saturday night when the Northam Harness Racing Club stages the fifth running of the Dempster Memorial just a fortnight after Warwick won the Northam Cup with Tas Man Bromac. The race honours Grass Valley farmer Peter Dempster who was President of the Northam Harness Racing Club from 2000 to his untimely passing in December 2012. Peter Dempster may have appeared quiet and unassuming but he was incredibly passionate about trotting and got things done with a minimum of fuss as evidenced by his beloved Northam club being the site of the State’s first undercover stabling complex on a racecourse.   While farming was his work Peter’s passions were flying and horses and there was no better evidence of this than the Dempster family’s annual holidays in Mandurah. Peter’s daughter Amy recalled this week how their annual holiday resembled a re-enactment of Noah and the ark. “Dad used to pack up the horses, all their gear, feed and carts and load them into the float along with a couple of parrots, two dogs and a couple of cats,” she laughed. “I think the horses enjoyed the holiday as much as Dad did as he would take them swimming as part of their training which he wasn’t able to do on the farm”. While he may have been on holidays the farm still had to be looked after and Peter would fly himself home a couple of times a week to check on things. The Dempster family farm is still home to eight of Peter Dempster’s retired pacers although Amy admits they have to be taken to a farrier to have their feet trimmed, a task which Peter always did himself. “Dad used to breed his own horses to race and he would wait until mum was away before he would sneak the mares down to the stud in Baldivis to have them inseminated,” Amy laughed. “I think Mum used to let Dad think he was putting one over her as she always knew when the mares were in foal”. Alan Parker Reprinted with permission of The Avon Advocate

Vampiro was a $56.20 outsider last Friday night when he produced an eye-catching and unlucky fifth behind star New Zealander Ultimate Machete in the harness racing $200,000 Group 1 Retravision Golden Nugget. The Rocknroll Hanover gelding, who is prepared by leading trainer Skye Bond and boasts a 44 per cent winning record, should make amends for that performance by winning the Gannon’s Racing Colours Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line and Ryan Warwick should have him in front or in a commanding position throughout. He was driven by Todd McCarthy in the Nugget and was forced three wide on the first turn before being checked in the back straight in the first circuit. He was eighth at the bell in the one-wide line before unwinding a powerful burst to finish fifth. His previous eight appearances in his current campaign produced six wins and two second placings. This week he is poised for a showdown with another talented four-year-old in Runrunjimmydunn, a winner at eight of his 22 starts. Runrunjimmydunn, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for top trainer Gary Hall Snr, will start from barrier four on the front line and looks the only serious threat to Vampiro. Runrunjimmydunn started from the inside barrier and was not extended in leading all the way when he beat Sarah Goody by four lengths over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, with final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.4sec. Another pacer who contested the Golden Nugget and looks a star bet on Friday night is the Mike Reed-trained Maczaffair, who has the speed and class to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier in a field of eight in the second heat of the 2130m Free Entry With Your Ashes Cricket Ticket Coulson Pace. Shannon Suvaljko will be tempted to use Maczaffair’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to burst to an early lead. Maczaffair began brilliantly from barrier six when she led for the first 450m and then sat behind the pacemaker Ultimate Machete before running home solidly to be an excellent second to that star pacer. Maczaffair was a $91.60 outsider last week, but will be at a considerably shorter quote this week as she attempts to notch her 13th win from 31 starts. Ken Casellas

When Runaway Three won the last race at Pinjarra yesterday for driver Ryan Warwick and trainer Skye Bond he brought up a major milestone for women trainers in Western Australia. It was the 6,700th winner in Western Australia for women trainers. The first win for a woman trainer was a lady called Alice Olsen at Narrogin in April 1922 with a mare that went by the name of Julia. A total of 2431 winners in Perth have been trained by women with the first of them going to the credit of Hilda Coulson with a horse called Wee Globe at Gloucester Park in January 1941. Hilda Coulson was the mother of a seven year old boy at the time – that boy was Phil Coulson who trained and drove the 1967 Perth Inter Dominion winner Binshaw. Significantly for yesterday’s successful trainer Skye Bond she will become just the fifth woman to have a starter in her own right in a Perth Inter Dominion final when Galactic Star faces the barrier on Friday night. Skye was in a training partnership with her husband Greg when they started Can Return Fire in the 2012 Perth Inter Dominion final. Alan Parker

Top-flight harness racing reinsman Ryan Warwick is poised to take full advantage of the coveted No. 1 barrier and make use of the sparkling early speed of Rock Diamonds by attempting an all-the-way victory in the $50,000 Westral Four-Year-Old Championship over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Rock Diamonds (Rocknroll Hanover), prepared by leading trainer Skye Bond, warmed up for this group 2 feature event with a solid third behind star New Zealand pacer Ultimate Machete in the Group 1 Yes Loans Classic last Friday night in which he began speedily from barrier five to burst to the front after 150m. Warwick then took the sit 250m later when Mark Purdon urged the outstanding New Zealand pacer forward. Rock Diamonds fought on determinedly to be third behind Ultimate Machete, who dashed over the final quarters in 28.2sec. and 28sec. Rock Diamonds has set the pace and won four times in a 24-start career of 11 wins and seven placings. His most dangerous rival looms large as smart Victorian performer Motor Meteor, who is trained and driven by Kerryn Manning. Motu Meteor caught the eye in last Friday night’s classic when he was 12th and last at the bell before finishing with a spirited burst, out wide, to be sixth which took his record to 25 starts for ten wins and nine placings. “The run was really good,” said Manning. “He’s more of a stayer, generally, than a sprinter. But he certainly had to go pretty quick last week. He just kept coming on in the straight. We will need a bit of luck, but if he gets it, he’ll be running on.” The lightly-raced Ross Olivieri-trained Space Junk has sound prospects from an ideal barrier at No. 2 on the front line. His driver Chris Voak has guided him to victory at his first three starts in Western Australia, at Pinjarra, Narrogin and Northam, and has a high opinion of the gelding. Trainer Michael Brennan has engaged star Victorian reinsman Chris Alford to driver Im Rockaria, a speedy pacer who is handily drawn at barrier two on the back line. Im Rockaria has won at 14 of his 25 starts and is capable of a bold showing. The Bond camp has a second runner in the well-performed Mighty Mr Sharkey, who will be driven by Todd McCarthy from barrier three on the front line.   Ken Casellas

Lightly-raced six-year-old Tas Man Bromac has been placed twice in group feature events in New Zealand and he has the class to make a successful Australian harness racing debut when he starts from the No. 4 barrier in the first heat of the International Animal Health Products Kersley Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The gelding by American Ideal has been in the care of leading trainer Skye Bond since arriving in Western Australia a fortnight ago and he will be driven by Ryan Warwick. Tas Man Bromac has raced 31 times for ten wins and 14 placings for earnings of $119,722. As a three-year-old he finished a nose second to Im Full of Excuses in the Group 2 $45,000 Southern Supremacy Stakes, a 2700m mobile event at Invercargill, and as a four-year-old he finished a half-length second to My Field Marshal in the Group 1 Taylor Mile over 1700m at Alexandra Park. At his latest appearance, a stand over 2400m at Winton on September 7 he was the lone backmarker off 35 metres and he revealed a sparkling turn of speed when he dashed forward from eighth at the 1200m to take up the running 900m from home. He went on to win by a neck from the in-form Crime Scene, with a final 400m section in 28.1sec. At his previous outing, he started from the outside barrier in a field of eight in a 2200m mobile at Gore. He was restrained and settled in seventh position, eight lengths from the early leader. He moved to the breeze 800m from home, took the lead 300m out and was beaten into second place by a neck by Crime Scene, who finished fast along the inside. Tas Man Bromac’s chief rival this week is sure to be the polemarker Extreme Prince, who scored an overdue success when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to beat Tajie Baby by four lengths at a 1.58.3 rate over 2130m last Friday week. “He broke through for a win, but I still thought that he was holding back on me,” said reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. “So, we have put a hood on him for Friday to see if we can get a bit more out of him. The draw here is a big advantage.” Experienced pacers with long losing sequences have good prospects of fighting out the finish of the opening event, the $22,000 TABtouch Pace over 2130m. Polemarker El Machine will have many admirers and is likely to vie for favouritism, despite a losing sequence of 43, stretching back to February 2016. The nine-year-old, trained by Debbie Padberg and driven by Luke Edwards, has dropped considerably in class in recent months. He should be in a commanding position throughout. Your Excused, trained at Waroona by Bob Mellsop, will be driven by Jocelyn Young from out wide at barrier seven. The seven-year-old has a losing sequence of 23, but rarely runs a poor race. He has been placed at each of his past four starts. Ken Casellas  

Ryan Warwick, who has taken an early lead in the drivers’ premiership for the 2017-18 season, has given harness racing punters a strong lead by choosing to drive Idealindiamonds in preference to smart stablemates Messi and Bettor Not Bitter in the $25,000 Warwick final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Idealindiamonds (American Ideal), trained at Forrestdale by Skye Bond, has won at his first two appearances in Australia and has an imposing record of ten wins from 20 starts. The six-year-old will start from barrier four on the front line, with Messi at No. 1 and Bettor Not Bitter at No. 6. Colin Brown has been engaged to handle four-year-old Messi, a speedy beginner and talented frontrunner who is likely to take plenty of catching. Michael Blakemore will drive Bettor Not Bitter, a winner at ten of his 34 starts. Warwick, whose first 39 drives this season have produced 19 wins and ten placings, is likely to make use of the excellent early speed possessed by Idealindiamonds. Whether the stallion can outgun Messi and get to an early lead is problematic. However, Idealindiamonds is tough and is capable of working hard without cover, just as he did when a winner over Our Zak Whitby at Gloucester Park two starts ago. Chris Lewis has decided to stick with the Ed Dewar-trained Our Zak Whitby, with the drive behind consistent mare Sea Me Smile, trained by Lewis’s wife Debra going to Clint Hall. Our Zak Whitby is in top form and Lewis said that the four-year-old would still be a major player despite drawing the back line. Our Zak Whitby warmed up for this week’s feature event in grand style with a superb frontrunning performance last Friday night when he won by three lengths from Whozideawasthis. Lewis agreed that Our Zak Whitby was a brilliant frontrunner, but he said that a back-line draw would not prevent the horse from winning. “Starting from No. 2 on the back line is not too bad a draw,” he said. “He can produce a very good late sprint and he’s definitely not out of it.” Whozideawasthis, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, is racing keenly and his nine WA starts have produced one win, six seconds, a third and a fourth. The seven-year-old will start from the inside of the back line and should gain an ideal run behind Messi. Livura finished strongly when third behind Our Zak Whitby and Whozideawasthis last week, but he faces a tougher test this week from the outside of the front line. Part-owner and trainer-reinsman Nathan Turvey said that the wide barrier would make things extremely difficult for Livura, who has raced 64 times for 17 wins and 27 placings. The Andrew de Campo-trained Cest Lheure finished strongly to win from the pacemaker Sea Me Smile last Friday night. He fared poorly in the barrier draw and will start out wide at No. 8, with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky, replacing Aiden de Campo, who is in Melbourne. Ken Casellas

Trainer Skye Bond and reinsman Ryan Warwick have made a flying start to the 2017-18 harness racing season and their golden run looks set to continue at full tilt at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They appear likely to dominate proceedings with a powerful line-up of high-quality pacers. Bond’s past 11 starters have produced nine wins, a second and a third and Warwick’s past 12 drives have resulted in ten wins, a second and a third. Bond is the leading trainer this season with 15 wins and nine placings from 28 starts and Warwick is a clear leader in the drivers’ premiership with an identical record of 28 drives for 15 wins and nine placings. Warwick had two drives for two wins at Pinjarra on Monday and three drives for three wins at Gloucester Park on Tuesday and he has outstanding prospects of increasing his remarkable winning sequence by scoring with his first two drives on Friday night when he will be in the sulky behind hot Bond-trained favourites Dodolicious (race two) and Mighty Mr Sharkey (race three). Dodolicious has won in grand style at her first two appearances after a spell and she should carry too many guns for her ten rivals in the 2130m TABtouch Interdominion Starts November 24 Pace for mares. In a good field, she will clash with smart last-start winners Forever Remembered and Foxy Dame and the in-form duo of Donegal Rundlescreek and Shes Artful. Four-year-old Mighty Mr Sharkey is in dazzling form and will take a power of beating in the 2130m TABtouch Interdominion Heat Night Two Pace. He has set the pace and won convincingly at each of his past three starts and Warwick is expected to get him away speedily from the No. 3 barrier in a bid to take up the running. Corey Peterson, who turned 17 on Wednesday, hopes to celebrate his birthday with a forward showing from the Peter Anderson-trained polemarker Bronze Seeker, who will be improved after his first-up eighth behind Dredlock Rockstar last week after starting out wide at barrier eight and racing at the rear. Bond and Warwick also have strong winning chances later in the program with Fifth Edition (race four), Gaz Wannabet (race five), Simply Susational (race seven), Vampiro (race nine) and Bettor Not Bitter (race ten). Warwick will also handle last-start winner Yackandandah in race six, the Maureen Clement Memorial Pace. Yackandandah overcame the difficult No. 7 barrier when he worked hard in the breeze before winning narrowly from the pacemaker Brookies Jet over 1730m last Friday night. Yackandandah is prepared by Clint Hall, who has opted to drive stablemate Fernleigh Rebel in preference to Yackandandah this week. Vampiro and Bettor Not Bitter are outstanding prospects for the Bond-Warwick combination in the final two events on the program. Vampiro, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old by Bettors Delight, chalked up his fifth successive victory when he raced wide early and then without cover before hitting the front 350m from home and scoring by just under a length from Responder, rating 1.57.6 over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Five-year-old Bettor Not Bitter, a winner at nine of his 32 starts, is a strong stayer capable of overcoming the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier nine in the 2536m TABtouch Pace. He had a tough run in the breeze and fought on gamely when second to the talented Livura over 2130m last Friday night. Ken Casellas

Inter Dominion Championship harness racing entrant Condrieu caused an upset when securing a freak inside run to win the $25,000 Spring Pace (2536m) at Gloucester Park tonight. The gelding, starting at $24.10, scored by a half-head from favourite Ideal Alice ($1.60) and Beaudiene Boaz ($10.50), who dead-heated for second. Condrieu, driven by Ryan Warwick, accelerated through on the pegs from third position after pacemaker Ideal Alice hung out under pressure in the home straight. Judges delayed a decision while finding margins on a photo finish print of the near triple dead-heat. Connections of the Skye Bond-trained Condrieu hope he can lift his ranking and secure a start in Inters heats during November and December. Racing and Wagering WA chief handicapper Warren Wishart said Condrieu was 57th in the first round of Inters rankings, which were released today. Wishart assessed the 97 Inters entrants when formulating rankings. “Only the top 30 pacers in rankings can contest Inters qualifying heats,” Wishart said. “There will be three updates of the rankings. This will give horses a chance to lift their rankings before the first set of heats on November 24.” Tonight’s performance indicated Condrieu is capable of qualifying for the $1.1 million Inters final over 2936m at Gloucester Park on December 8. The gelding, starting for the first time in more than three months tonight, has won 20 races. “He joins an illustrious list of Spring Pace winners,” Gloucester Park Harness Racing co-vice president Gino Monaco said at the trophy presentation. “Winners in recent years include Has The Answers, Dasher VC, Machtu and Bettors Fire.” Ernie Manning Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

Stewards have refused Skye Bond’s application to continue training from her Forrestdale harness racing stable in the wake of her husband Greg’s 12-month disqualification. Stewards determined Skye Bond was entitled to retain a licence to train pacers because Greg’s disqualification did not relate to the training of pacers. But she was not granted permission to train from the Forrestdale stable where the husband and wife training partnership are based. Stewards visited WA’s leading stable on Monday and noted the limited segregation of the Bonds’ house from the stabling complex. Under the rules of harness racing, a disqualified person cannot enter any premises used for the purposes of the harness racing industry. Greg Bond was disqualified for giving false information to stewards and behaving in a way that was prejudicial to the industry. He has lodged an appeal with the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal. Stewards also announced today a six-month disqualification for reinsman Mark Reed for refusing to comply with a direction from senior investigator Paul Criddle. Reed provided a urine sample when requested to on August 26 last year, but it did not meet the required criteria. He then refused to provide a second sample. By Jay Rooney Reprinted with permission of The West Australian  

New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Good Deed is a standing-start specialist and harness racing co-trainer Skye Bond said that the gelding had the ability to bounce back and make amends for poor performances at his past two starts by winning the 2503m Retravision Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line and Ryan Warwick will be attempting to get him away smartly in a bid to set the pace. “He loves the stand and is a good frontrunner,” Mrs Bond said. “He finished down the track at his latest start, but he wasn’t at his best and was suffering from a bit of a virus. His trackwork has been good.” At his most recent appearance, at Gloucester Park on July 24, he jumped sideways at the start and then met with a check. He raced in ninth position and out three wide in the final circuit before finishing ninth behind The Bucket List. A week earlier he galloped at the start before dashing to the front after 250m, setting the pace and fading to 11th behind Classic American. But his previous form was hard to fault. He has had 18 starts in Western Australia, all in stands, for ten wins and five seconds. Greg and Skye Bond will also be represented in Friday night’s race by Barrow Street, who will start out wide on the second line with Colin Brown in the sulky. Barrow Street set the pace and won a 2130m mobile event from the fast-finishing Vertical Street last Friday night after a win at Northam and a second to Phoenix Warrior at Gloucester Park at his two previous starts. Mrs Bond is also confident in the ability of Jungle Jewel to win the 2130m Garry Ralston Pace for mares. Jungle Jewel finished powerfully to win over 2130m on the past two Friday nights. “She is one of those horses that it doesn’t matter where she draws,” she said. ””You just need to put her away and she has got that dazzling turn of speed, and she can cover a field very quickly. Her past two runs probably have been the best of her career. The times she has run at her past couple of starts is proof that she can sit on a fast speed and still run on strongly.” Jungle Jewel’s toughest rival appears to be Ideal Alice, a lightly-raced four-year-old trained by Gary Hall sen. Ideal Alice had a tough run before finishing second to Jungle Jewel last Friday night. She raced three wide in the middle stages before getting to the front at the bell. But she failed to withstand the sizzling late sprint of Jungle Jewel, who came from eighth, four wide, at the 400m mark to burst to the front 10p0m from the post.  by Ken Casellas

Star harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. has given punters a valuable lead by deciding to drive Soho Jackman in preference to Crusader Banner in the $22,500 TABtouch Cranley Memorial Sprint at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall drove both pacers to effortless victories last Friday night when Soho Jackman, at his first appearance for six months, came from tenth in the middle stages to race without cover before dashing away to score by more than a length over Walter James, rating 1.59.6 over 2536m, and Crusader Banner was equally impressive when he surged home from sixth and last at the bell to win by just under three lengths from Diamonds A Blaze, rating 1.55.5 over 1730m. The Cranley Memorial will be decided over 1730m and Hall is bubbling with confidence that five-year-old Soho Jackman will prove too speedy for his six rivals, including up-and-coming four-year-old Crusader Banner, who will be driven by his brother Clint. Both pacers are prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. "Soho Jackman is a good horse who begins fast and I expect him to lead from barrier one and win," Hall jun. said. However, Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri is adamant that Soho Jackman is not a past-the post proposition. He gives his runner, the Victorian-bred six-year-old Real Hammer, a strong winning chance. Real Hammer, a winner at 13 of his 56 starts has been an erratic and hard-to-control pacer for much of his career, which included a stint under the care of Hall sen. when Hall jun. drove him eight times for two wins. Real Hammer has a history of racing erratically and pulling hard. Real Hammer has not appeared for six weeks, when he was inclined to hang in and raced at the rear before finishing last behind Zacs Nuggett over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Real Hammer, a noted frontrunner, charged home from the rear to win a race over 2185m at Pinjarra at his previous outing. He was an all-the-way winner, rating 1.55.6 over 1730m at Gloucester Park three starts before that. Olivieri said that Real Hammer was becoming far more tractable following some gear changes. "He went to Byford on Sunday morning and you wouldn't believe how well-mannered he was in his trial," he said. "He came out very well from behind the mobile and sat behind the pacemaker Sensational Gabby before finishing second to her, coming home in 57.8sec. and 27.1sec. "I was very pleased with the trial and the draw (No. 2) for Friday night. I'm using a new lugging bit on him and he raced tractably. Whether he does it in a race, I don't know. I have also made a change to his head gear and he will race with block blinkers. He ran with the blinkers in Sunday's trial and they are settling him down instead of stirring him up." Hall jun. said he considered Real Hammer to have no hope of beginning fast enough to wrest the early lead from Soho Jackman. "If Soho Jackman is to be beaten, it will be by Crusader Banner," he said. Crusader Banner has been untroubled to win at his past three starts in which his average winning margin has been 11 metres. Chris Lewis has chosen to handle Real Hammer in preference to speedy frontrunner Blissfull Boy, who will start from barrier three. Trainer Kevin Charles has engaged Dylan Egerton-Green to drive Blissfull Boy. The Hall camp has a third runner in the event, The Ragpickers Dream, who faces a tough task from the No. 6 barrier. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old has a losing sequence of 16 and will be driven by Kim Prentice. The Cranley Memorial has been run nine times and Hall sen. and Hall jun. combined to win with El Padrino, who raced without cover before getting to the front 520m from home and then holding on to defeat the fast-finishing Dhoni by a nose in 2012, after finishing second with Im Themightyquinn in 2008 and third with My Jasami in 2011. Lewis was successful with the Alan Bell-trained Mister Veejays Fella in 2009. Williams to drive Zacs Nuggett Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson has engaged Robbie Williams to drive Zacs Nuggett in the McInerney Ford Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the eight-year-old should maintain his excellent form by proving too tough for his 11 rivals over his pet journey of 2536m. Zacs Nuggett is an M3-class performer and is able to contest Friday night's event restricted to M0 to M2-class runners with Howson taking advantage of Williams's concession as a junior reinsman. Zacs Nuggett has the ability to overcome the distinct disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. Williams, who will be having his first drive behind the West Australian-bred pacer, looks set to send Zacs Nuggett forward in the first lap to race in the breeze outside either Grand Cru or Tuapeka Kahu. Grand Cru (barrier two) and Tuapeka Kahu (three) are smart frontrunners, with the Mike Reed-trained Grand Cru bringing up his second win in a row with an all-the-way success over 2620m at Northam on Tuesday of last week and Tuapeka Kahu (trained by Greg and Skye Bond) finishing an encouraging second behind Jaccka Felix last Friday night after all-the-way wins in successive starts in August. Howson drove Zacs Nuggett at his most recent outing, last Friday week, when the hardy gelding raced three wide early and then in the breeze before winning from Bet Your Life and Romulus over 2130m. "He has thrived since that win and should again prove hard to beat," Howson declared. Williams also has bright prospects with Dashing Christian, who has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Gannon's Pacing Colours Pace. Williams will attempt an all-the-way victory with the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old who has been unplaced at his past two starts from back-line draws, following an all-the-way success with Williams in the sulky, over 2130m on August 29. Dashing Christian is one of five runners in Friday night's race who are prepared by ace trainer Gary Hall sen. The other Hall runners are Soho Highroller (Micheal Ferguson), Some Kinda Tactics (Stuart McDonald), Heez Orl Black (Tom Buchanan) and Jaccka Felix (Dylan Egerton-Green). Heez Orl Black is racing keenly and is capable of a bold showing from barrier two on the back line. The richly-talented Bettors Fire also makes strong appeal at his second appearance after a lengthy spell. Bettors Fire, to be driven by his trainer Kyle Harper, is the class runner and should fight out the finish, despite the disadvantage of starting from the outside of the front line. He covered a lot of extra ground when a splendid first-up sixth behind Some Kinda Tactics over 1730m last Friday week. Three Blind Mice poised for first-up win Brilliant, lightly-raced pacer Three Blind Mice should make a triumphant return to racing and send punters home on a happy note by winning the final event, the 2130m Alltools Pathway Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Busselton trainer-reinsman Matt White said that Three Blind Mice was on target to contest the feature events for four-year-olds this season, including the McInerney Classic and Golden Nugget Championship. "That's the plan, to have him peaking for those big races," said White, who has taken over the preparation of Three Blind Mice from the gelding's part-owner Barry Howlett. White recently acquired his A-grade trainer's licence and has already prepared five winners. Three Blind Mice gave a superb performance to set the pace and win the WA Derby from Elegant Christian and Machtu early last April. He then led and won at Bunbury and Harvey at his following two starts before going for a spell. White took Three Blind Mice to Pinjarra to contest a 2185m trial on Sunday morning and was fully satisfied with his performance, finishing a head second to the pacemaker Awesum Teddy, rating 1.58 after dashing over the final two 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 27.9sec. "It was a good hit-out," White said. "Three Blind Mice sat behind the leader before finishing strongly," he said. "They rolled along a bit and he hit the line together with Awesum Teddy. "From barrier four on Friday night I'll probably roll forward and I'd like to think he will get to the front. He's only a C2-class pacer and his next start probably will be in the country." The only possible danger to Three Blind Mice on Friday night appears to be smart four-year-old High Courage, who will be driven by Gary Hall jun. for his father, leading trainer Gary Hall sen. High Courage, who has won at six of his 18 starts, will begin from the outside of the front line. An easy all-the-way winner over 2130m at Gloucester Park three starts ago, he had an extremely tough run in the breeze when a fighting third behind stablemate Crusader Banner over 1730m last Friday night. "He's race fit and will make a race of it with Three Blind Mice," said Hall jun. "However, the draw makes it tough for High Courage." Prentice hoping for winning run to continue Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice, fresh from winning with Tasmanian Bromac at Pinjarra on Monday and Kiralin and Bettor Dreams at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening, has high hopes of ending the week on a high note by driving promising four-year-old Where Dreams Grow to victory in the first heat of the Melbourne Cup Luncheon Preux Chevalier Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The WA-bred Where Dreams Grow has struck a purple patch with four wins and a second placing from her past six starts. She has fared poorly in the random draw and will start from the outside of the back line. However, Prentice is quietly confident that she will prove to be an excellent each-way chance, with her chief rivals Harriet Elisabeth (barrier three on the back line), Diamonds A Blaze (barrier seven) and Robyns C C (six) drawing poorly. "Where Dreams Grow has the ability to win from the No. 12 barrier," Prentice said. "She has been going very well and felt super at her latest outing, at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. "She felt really good and switched on at Pinjarra and repeating that performance she should finish in the money on Friday night and qualify for the final. She's reasonably strong and pretty quick as well. "She has got a tricky draw, but the three who appear hardest to beat have all drawn awkwardly. I'll see how things pan out early and then I'll probably put her into the race at some stage." Prentice said that he would nominate Kiralin for the second heat of this event in a bid to qualify her for the final. He has been training Kiralin, a five-year-old by Elsu, for four weeks and produced her in fine fettle for her first start since mid-August. Prentice is also looking forward to driving standing-start specialist Multibet for the first time on Friday night when the Jess Moore-trained seven-year-old begins from the inside of the front line in the Sky Racing Handicap over 2503m. Multibet ran home solidly on the inside from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Medley Moose and Bashful Compton in the group 3 Kalgoorlie Cup at huis latest outing. Earl of Charity a real bargain Young horseman Michael Young, Courtney Burch and Brett Archibald made a wise decision to out lay just $6000 six weeks ago to purchase Victorian-bred trotter Earl of Charity. The seven-year-old will start from the inside of the front line in the $17,500 Slater Gartrell Sports Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night and reinsman Gary Hall jun. is full of confidence that he will maintain his winning form. "If he gets away in the stand and leads I don't think they'll see which way he went," Hall said. "If he doesn't lead, he could still win. He's quite a nice horse and as long as he settles, he can come from anywhere." Earl of Charity is trained by Gary Hall sen. and he made an impressive debut for the Hall stable when he started from the 30m mark, and despite breaking in running, he was prominent throughout before winning from Keepyaguardup and Conquer All over 2503m last Tuesday week. "He was in good form when we got him, but had a few issues, with pulling," Hall jun. said. "I think that being in a big stable has helped him and he has settled down a lot. He never used to get away in stands. He got away at his first start for us, off 30m. And he did get away off the front in a trial. "Late in August Michael Young approached the owners, but he didn't really expect them to sell. However, they agreed to sell him for $6000." Young seized the opportunity to buy the gelding, who was due to contest a race at Pinjarra a couple of days later. He agreed to let part-owner Terry Wegner start him at Pinjarra, with the proviso that the two parties share any prizemoney. Earl of Charity, who had won at his previous start, repeated the dose with Wegner guiding the gelding to victory over Idle Maple and All Flair. The new owners had an immediate return and gained half of the $4485 first prize. Then Earl of Charity earned $4550 with his first-up success with the Hall camp. by Ken Casellas

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