Day At The Track
Search Results
17 to 32 of 58

With the arrival today of Chase The Dream from the all-star stables of Purdon/Rasmussen ahead of the Group 1 $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby, Top WA trainer Gary Hall Snr will be hard at work putting what he hopes to be winning touches on local harness racing hope Chicago Bull. Lets Chase The Dream (as it will be known in WA) will be stabled at Greg and Skye Bond’s property to contest the WA Derby prelude on Friday night and will most likely be driven by Gary Hall Jnr. Chicago Bull will have the week off after securing a spot in the Derby with an emphatic win over Sprinter and Cant Refuse who sat parked for the entire race in last Friday night's Group 2 Western Gateway Pace. “He is such a professional little race horse, he does what you want him too. I was pretty confident in the run… we know how fast he is and I was wrapped with the run we got” – Gary Hall Jnr In a post-race interview with Gary Hall Snr, he sung Chicago Bull's praises. “He is a winner, good horses win... We go into the WA Derby now, not confident with Chase The Dream coming over, but they are an even bunch of 3yo’s… ...I think it’s fantastic they’re coming over. I am worried though, if that horse wins there will be a truck load of super-stars here for the Inters!” Also on his way west is (OUR) Sky Major who will be trained by Justin Prentice. “I couldn’t be happier, I pick him up Monday night and I can’t wait to get him home” said Justin. Our Sky Major's condition will be assessed by Prentice when he arrives but it’s more than likely he will head to a paddock briefly to acclimatise to the Australian conditions. “He will probably have one or two weeks off and have a brief winter campaign and then set him up for the summer carnival” by Scott Hamilton | GPTV

Ace harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. said that Chicago Bull won a trial at Byford on Sunday morning “on his ear” and champion trainer Gary Hall sen. declared that the little New Zealand-bred gelding was his best WA Derby prospect at this stage. Hall jun. brought Chicago Bull home with a well-timed burst to win the 2150m trial by a half-length from smart stablemate Harry Hoo, who had set the pace for Clint Hall. The final quarters were run in 29.4sec. and 28.3sec. and Chicago Bull was not extended. Chicago Bull will resume racing after a seven-week absence when he starts from barrier five in the six-horse field in the Alltools Sidchrome Specials Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Harry Hoo will start from barrier three at his first appearance for seven weeks. Chicago Bull has gone from strength to strength this season, during which he has raced five times for three wins and two thirds. He is one of the early favourites for the $200,000 WA Derby on April 15. Adding interest to Friday night’s event is the return to racing of Banjup trainer Colin Brown’s promising New Zealand-bred pacers Franco Rayner (five wins from 14 starts) and Just Bet On Black (four wins and a neck second from five starts). Brown has decided to drive Just Bet On Black, who will start from the No. 2 barrier in the six-horse 2130m event. Dylan Egerton-Green has been offered the drove behind Franco Rayner. Just Bet On Black, a convincing winner at his final start in New Zealand, last July, made an auspicious Australian debut at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when he raced three wide early and burst to the front after 550m before winning by two lengths from Disco Under Fire. Franco Rayner has been off the scene since he finished sixth and last behind Chicago Bull over 2130m at Gloucester Park on December 11. Brown said that both his three-year-olds would be competitive this week, but he admitted that they would be unlikely to be able to beat the Hall runners. “Just Bet On Black is a little bit green and is still learning the caper,” Brown said. “I think the other horses will be too experienced for him. Franco Rayner is working up very good. But he’s first-up and hasn’t had a trial. So I don’t think that either of my horses will worry the Hall camp. “Regarding the Derby, we’re not going to duck and dive. We might as well meet the others on Friday night to see exactly where we’re at, leading into the Derby. “Just bet On Black won first-up, but wasn’t really switched on. He’ll have the Dollys on on Friday night, but I don’t think he has the speed to lead, particularly with the speedy Jilliby Jay Mac drawn No. 1. I’m using the Dolly Vardons because he raced greenly and he switched on and off when he won at his first start here. “So the gear change is more for the run than for the start. Franco Rayner is a very fast horse, but we won’t be using his speed. You won’t see him gas the gate. Both horses will be competitive, but I’m not expecting either of them to finish in the top two.” by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 18 March 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 18 March 2016

Harness racing is full of stories of owners persevering with a breed for many years with average luck only for their luck to turn and the winners to pour fourth at a great rate. Such is the story of John and Rebecca Mooney of West Melton near Christchurch. They inherited a couple of mares from Rebecca's late father, but initially success was hard to come by. Their first sign of their luck changing was the emergence of the smart Live Or Die mare Lucinda Midfrew 1:56.9 ($52,599) From the time she went to stud, the winners started to pour in, with her fifth foal the undoubted star of the tribe in the outstanding racemare Libertybelle Midfrew 1:53.9 ($566,547) who has been a star from the time she stepped on a track as two year old. A big six figure offer as an early three year old was too good to turn down and shortly after Libertybelle Midfrew was on her way to Perth. A half sister in Lulli Midfrew 1:56.8 won six in New Zealand and has joined the Mooney's broodmare band as has the race winning Mach Three mare Lucasta Midfrew whose first foal was the very smart Eyre Crusher 1:56.5 ($94,123) who ran second in the West Australian Derby. A full sister to Libertybelle Midfrew that the Mooney's raced was Lulabelle Midfrew (5 wins) ($46,047) and her first foal was kept inhouse after failing to meet her reserve at the New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale. Named Luisanabelle Midfrew, she has looked high class from her first start at two with the highlight last season being a game second behind the champion filly Dream About Me in the $138,000 Sires Stakes Championship. Her run in the Harness Jewels was a poor run by her standards and a veterinary examination resulted in Luisanabelle Midfrew having a soft palate operation in the off season. Worst was to follow soon after in July. " We nearly lost her when she had a Colitis attack." " It was touch and go for a while, but thankfully she pulled through," John Mooney told Harnesslink yesterday. The problem now was she was getting well behind in her prep for her main early season aim, the PGG Sales Race in February.  " We only put her in at Ashburton on Boxing Day to try to play a bit of catch up." " She was fit enough but instead of a trial, Nigel thought a race would be better for her. " We were thrilled that she only went under by a head in 1:54.7 and she came through that run great," John said. Yesterday at Rangiora, Liisanabelle Midfrew added to her impressive record when she toyed with a field of mares in the slushy conditions. Luisanabelle Midfrew Driver Matthew Williamson is thrilled to be back on board Luisanabelle Midfrew this season. " She is a beautiful filly to drive and she won that race yesterday with ease." " She proved that she was up with the best at two and I think she has come back even better." "I think she could be in for a big season," Matthew said. The $150,000 PGG 3 year old fillies pace on February 12th at Addington is the main aim early on and with most of the topliners not eligible, Luisanabelle Midfrew will be hard to beat. " There are still plenty of handy fillies eligible and Killer Queen looks the one we all have to beat." " I think the draw will be critical in this race," John said. February will be a busy time for John and Rebecca as they have a half brother to Luisanabelle Midfrew for sale on the first day of the New Zealand Premier Sale on February 23rd. " He is a Bettor's Delight colt and without getting carried away, he is the best put together yearling that Rebecca and I have bred." " He is just an absolute standout and we are excited to be be the vendors of such a great type of yearling," John said. Just fifteen years ago, this family that the Mooney's inherited was at best a good bread and butter family. Now it is leaving Classic horses all over the place and the future looks very bright. What a difference a few years can make.  Harnesslink Media

Highly-promising Mach Three gelding Sprinter will be aiming to retain his undefeated harness racing record at Gloucester Park when he contests the $18,000 Ross North Homes Pace on Friday night. He is ideally drawn at barrier two in the field of six and owner-trainer Gary Elson and reinsman Nathan Turvey are full of hope that the smart three-year-old will prove too smart for his strong opposition and improve his Gloucester Park record to five starts for five wins and enhance his Western Australia Derby prospects. Sprinter was WA’s star two-year-old last season, winning the $50,000 Champagne Classic and the $125,000 Golden Slipper. He reappeared after a five-month absence and had his first outing as a three-year-old in a field of three over 1823m at Narrogin on December 9 when he set the pace and was not extended in winning by a half-length from the fast-finishing Navy Blues. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. will be looking to upset Sprinter with either of his last-start winners Harry Hoo or Chicago Bull. Harry Hoo, to be driven by Clint Hall from the No. 1 barrier, is showing steady improvement and has won at three of his four starts in Western Australia. He overcame the disadvantage of a punctured sulky tyre and of racing without cover to win easily from Mister Versace over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. Gary Hall jun. will drive Chicago Bull from the outside barrier in the small field and the Bettors Delight gelding is sure to prove hard to beat following his impressive victory over El Jacko, rating 1.55.9 over 2130m three Fridays ago. Rocknroll Whitby, trained and driven by Callan Suvaljko, should make his presence felt from barrier four. He notched his third win from 11 starts when he worked hard without cover before finishing solidly to beat Soho Wolverine at a 1.58.2 rate over 1780m at Northam on December 17.  by Ken Casellas Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 01 January 2016

The harness racing pundits in Western Australia reckoned the $200,000 WA  Derby tonight at Gloucester Park was a match race between the two best three year old pacers in the west. Beaudine Boaz from barrier one and Kiwi Legend from barrier two were everybodys pick for the quinella with most opting for the Gary Hall trained Beaudiene Boaz as the likely winner. Gary Hall jnr held the front easily with Beaudiene Boaz with All Aussie Boy and Kyle Harper sitting parked which gave Kiwi Legend and Mark Reid a lovely sit in the one by one. Gary Hall jnr was able to back the pace off over the next two laps with no mid race pressure and it wasn't until he went past the 800 metres to go mark that he turned up the wick with a quarter down the back in 27 before brushing home in 27 to distance the opposition. At the finish Beaudiene Boaz was 24 metres in front of the game filly Tricky Styx who made ground well from a long way back and Danny Crane who had received the run of the race on the back of Beaudiene Boaz in the trail. Kiwi Legend made a three wide run from the 600 metres but only battled in to seventh while the well supported Delightful Offer galloped when looking a big place chance with 350 metres to go. Beaudiene Boaz paced the 2536 metres in 3:06.4, a mile rate of 1:58.3 with closing sectionals of 27 and 27 - a 54 half. It was the eighth win in Australia for the son of Badlands Hanover from just nine starts and the Kiwi import took his lifetime earnings over the $400,000 mark. Harnesslink Media

Champion harness racing reinsman Gary Hall jun. is promising a blistering start with Beaudiene Boaz and is confident the star New Zealand-bred colt will set the pace and win the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall is determined to make every post a winner after Beaudiene Boaz drew the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line in the group 1 classic over 2536m and the Badlands Hanover three-year-old is certain to start a red hot odds-on favourite. “We will be coming out of the gate all guns blazing, regardless of what the tactics of the other runners are,” he said. “Kiwi Legend, from barrier two, obviously will have a look (for the lead) out of the gate, and we’ll come out as fast as we can. I’m as confident as you can be in a Derby. But you can’t be too confident in those sort of races. It can be your undoing sometimes. “I’m confident Beaudiene Boaz will lead; I’m confident he’s good enough and I’m confident that he’s well in himself. So taking all those things into consideration I am as confident as I can be. I don’t like to be over-confident.” Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. echoed the sentiments of his son, saying: “Beaudiene Boaz should lead and win. I think he has improved slightly on his win in the Western Gateway last Friday week. He’s got the right barrier and he’s going to make use of it.” Beaudiene Boaz set a track record for a three-year-old over the Derby distance of 2536m (rating 1.56.3) when he started out wide at No. 6, raced three wide for the first 500m, took the lead 150m later and reeled of quarters in 30sec., 28.2sec., 27.5sec. and 29.2sec. in beating Military Master by just over four lengths. That victory made amends for his shock failure at 3/1 on when he raced in the breeze and met interference in the final lap, broke and finished eighth behind the pacemaking Kiwi Legend over 2130m the week before the Western Gateway Classic . Kiwi Legend rated 1.54.7 over the 2130m in that brilliant victory before he raced in the breeze outside Beaudiene Boaz and wilted to finish eighth. “When you’re going 1.54 and a bit over 2130m and on the rail no one is going to sit in the breeze and beat you,” said Hall jun. “In New Zealand Beaudiene Boaz was driven as a  speed horse and when he came over here Dad thought he was just a speed horse. But I reckon he’s more the other way, more tough than fast. He proved at his latest win that the 2536m is right up his alley. “Beaudiene Boaz is a bit of a pain and he doesn’t do much on the sand track, so we’ve got to get into him when it is hopple day. So I let him run along last Wednesday and gave him a good hit-out. I sort of made him go a little bit too quick early, wanting to see how he finished off. He had Elegant Christian sitting on him, and he’s about ready to resume racing. But he didn’t even get to my wheel. I was really happy with the workout.” Asked to compare Beaudiene Boaz with Alta Christiano, who he drove to a runaway victory in the 2013 WA Derby for his father after racing without cover, Hall said: “It’s hard to line them up. Alta Christiano didn’t have the same sort of competition as Beaudiene Boaz has got from Kiwi Legend. We never saw the best of Alta Christiano because his legs were stuffed.” Hall sen. said that Beaudiene Boaz, winner of ten of his 15 starts, would go for a spell after Friday night’s classic. He said that New Zealand authorities had telephoned him to see whether he would like Beaudiene Boaz to be Australia’s invited representative in the rich Jewels Classic in the winter. “I declined the offer and my plans are to concentrate on racing him exclusively in Western Australia,” he said. “After a spell, I’ll bring him back and prepare him for the Golden Nugget and then there’s the interdominion championship here for him in the following two years. He’s got everything here for him and there’s no incentive for me to leave here with him.” The Halls are looking for their second WA Derby success, while the father-son combination of trainer Mike Reed and reinsman Mark Reed is aiming for victory with Kiwi Legend. The Reeds combined to win the Derby with Tricky Vic (2002) and Ace of Spades (2003). Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand in this week’s classic with five runners, Ima Connoisseur, Assassinator, Bungalow Bill, Denny Crane and Delightful Offer. Delightful Offer was most impressive when Ryan Warwick drove him to an effortless five-length victory over El Comacho and Bungalow Bill in a 2130m Derby prelude last Friday night. Delightful Offer’s prospects diminished significantly when he drew barrier three on the back line. “The draw, with Beaudiene Boaz at No. 1, makes all the other runners only a place chance,” Warwick said. “Delightful Offer felt good and looked good last week. But he faces a stern test and so do all the other runners. Beaudiene Boaz would have to do something wrong to be beaten.” Pacific Warrior clashes with John of Arc Mt Helena trainer Ray Williams described Pacific Warrior as fit, fresh and bright --- and ready to maintain his splendid form by winning the $22,500 Sky Racing Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.      And if Pacific Warrior performs strongly Williams will set him for the $30,000 Narrogin Cup, a mobile over 2662m, on May 2. Pacific Warrior, who has earned $99,950 from four wins and three placings from 13 starts in his current campaign, fared perfectly in the random draw and will start from the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line. His clash with up-and-coming star John of Arc will be a highlight on the ten-event program. John of Arc, who has won in dashing style at his past two starts for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and ace reinsman Gary Hall jun., steps up considerably in class. But the five-year-old, a comparative novice of just 18 starts for 12 wins and four seconds, faces a moment of truth from the unfavourable barrier six on the front line. The wide draw is not fazing Hall sen., who said: “I reckon if he had drawn inside of Pacific Warrior he could beat him. If Pacific Warrior leads, I don’t think John of Arc can beat him. But I think John of Arc is a better horse than Pacific Warrior and he will give him a fright on Friday night. “We won’t give the race to Pacific Warrior. We’ll go round and have a look at him at some stage.”  Hall jun. is looking forward to John of Arc being tested in stronger company.” I thought he could win with a good draw,” he said. “But it will be hard from out wide. “He’s a funny horse who has shown us at home that he is right up there with the best horses we’ve had. But his manners aren’t the best. He won’t do anything wrong, but he doesn’t get around the track all that well. He’s had bad legs, so it’s probably not all his fault.” Williams said that if Pacific Warrior, to be driven by Kade Howson, would contest the Narrogin Cup if he maintained his excellent form in Friday night’s race. “If he leads and any horse apart from John of Arc beats him he will go straight to the paddock,” he said. “The Narrogin Cup could well be his final run in this preparation. He will have a spell for about six weeks before coming back to be prepared for the interdominion championship series in Perth in November and December.” Hall also is looking at the interdominion championship for John of Arc, providing he stays sound. Nuala set to remain unbeaten Outstanding reinsman Clint Hall is bubbling with confidence that brilliant three-year-old Nuala will maintain her unbeaten record by proving too strong for her six rivals in the Push By Schneider WA Oaks Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “This will be her first test over 2536m (the distance of the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 8) and I expect her to enjoy the increase in distance,” he said. “It should be to her liking and I expect her to jump to the front from barrier two and then run a controlled lead time. We’re very happy with where she’s at.” The New Zealand-bred Nuala has not been extended in winning at all her six starts --- by an aggregate margin of 70.1 metres, an average of 11.68m (just under four lengths). Trainer Gary Hall sen. should provide the quinella, with Giuliana Rancic, to be driven by Gary Hall jun., expected to provide the strongest opposition to Nuala. Remarkably, Giuliana Rancic consistently beats Nuala in trackwork at the Hall’s Serpentine training establishment. “I’ve chased Nuala home with Giuliana Rancic in her past two to three runs and haven’t been able to get near her,” Hall jun. said. “And I can’t see this changing on Friday. She’s a bit of a pain because she beats Nuala on the track all the time, leading or sitting. If I lead with Giuliana Rancic, Nuala doesn’t get near her and if I sit I get over her almost every time.   “It’s a bit like Zennart and Beaudiene Boaz. Zennart always beats him on the track, but it’s a different matter in a race.” Leading WA Oaks candidates Tricky Styx and Quite A Delight are not in Friday night’s prelude, with Northam trainer Jesse Moore preferring to contest the WA Derby with Tricky Styx and Justin Prentice keeping Quite A Delight at home. However, adding interest to Friday night’s event will be the first appearance in WA of the Courtney Burch-trained Uaintseennothinyet, the Mike Reed-trained Foxy Dame and Baileys Gold, trained by Greg and Skye Bond. Uaintseennothinyet has won once from ten starts in New Zealand and should obtain an ideal passage from the No. 1 barrier. Foxy Dame has won at one of her six starts in New Zealand and Baileys Gold is capable of a sound effort at her debut after scoring easy wins in three Byford trials in recent weeks.  Jungle Jewel will pay to follow Well-performed four-year-old Jungle Jewel will resume racing after a 31-day absence when she starts from barrier two on the front line of the third heat of the Clipsal Powerhouse Johnson Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and reinsman Ryan Warwick says that she will pay to follow in this campaign. Warwick, in top form after landing trebles at Gloucester Park last Friday night and at Kellerberrin on Sunday, said: “She’s pretty close and will improve with the run. She’s going pretty good and she had a good hit-out in a trial at Byford on Sunday morning when she sat one-out and one-back and got pushed around a little bit.” Jungle Jewel finished fifth in the six-horse trial, five lengths from the winner Heez On Fire, who rated 1.58.5 over the 2185m journey.  Jungle Jewel, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, rarely performs below par and has already earned $89,082 from ten wins and seven placings from 35 starts. Byford trainer David Thompson will be represented by smart four-year-olds Harper Grace (barrier one) and Harriet Elisabeth (No. 2 on the back line) and both mares will have admirers. Hall fancies insignificant horse Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. is excited at the prospect of driving inexperienced New Zealand-bred four-year-old Ideal Justice for the first time when the stallion starts from the No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Sky Racing Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ideal Justice raced three times in New Zealand for a first-up win and two seconds and he is unbeaten at two WA starts when driven by Alysha Johnston and Clint Hall. He raced without cover before careering away for easy wins in his two WA starts. “I haven’t driven him in a race and I’m pretty excited at seeing what he feels like,” Hall jun. said. “He’s been very impressive. “He’s a funny horse who doesn’t show much at home. He’s an insignificant sort of horse at home, who does nothing to grab anyone’s attention. But he has just come out and gone bang, bang. “We had him for quite a long time and he had soreness issues and we couldn’t find anything. We stopped everything and turned him out for a while before starting again.” Hall sen. said that Ideal Justice kept going lame. “So I just put him in a box for six weeks,” he explained. “He had no treatment and now he doesn’t show any sign of any problem.” by Ken Casellas

Alta Christiano, one of Australasia’s most exciting harness racing prospects, has had his brilliant career cut short by injury. He has been retired and will stand at Alabar this season – and beyond. With Im Themightyquinn, champion West Australian trainer, Gary Hall has the greatest horse in Australasia. In Alta Christiano he felt he had his heir apparent. In the words of Gary Hall: “For Alta Christiano to win the WA Derby in only his second start for us – and after only eight weeks work – was outstanding. He drew 10, sat outside them and was just too good. “When he came back as a four-year-old we had nothing else that could go with him in work so we had to work him with Quinny – and Quinny really had to open up and stretch his neck to get past him – and then there wasn’t much in it. There’s not too many horses that could make Quinny go all out - not on a one-on-one basis. “When Alta Christiano set his time of 1:54.2 at Gloucester Park he sat three wide outside them and just jogged it. Gary didn’t even pull the earplugs. He said he could easily had broken 1:53 that night if he’d wanted to. I was pleased on the night that he didn’t have to – but looking back I wish he had let the brakes off as everyone would have been able to see what an outstanding horse this is. “It’s a great shame that he never really had another chance to show the type of horse he was. As a four-year-old he was never 100% in all his wins. This was a serious horse. “Of all the top sons of Christian Cullen, he had the gait that was the closest to Cullen himself as I’d seen. He’s also the one that I feel looked the most like Cullen. “He’s got all the attributes you could want in a horse – he’s fast, he can stay and he’s great gaited. Very quick – with high, high speed but also very strong with a high cruising speed. “In my eyes there can’t be a better prospect as a stallion. He’s out of a Fake Left mare and is a direct descendant of Black Watch. If gait, speed, pedigree and temperament make a stallion then he’s got everything.” On Sky Channel’s “In The Gig” earlier this year, Johnny Tapp – an icon of Australian racing broadcasting – compared Alta Christiano to the champion galloper Might And Power. Quite the compliment indeed. After all, Might And Power was one of the greats of Australian racing - rated the world’s best stayer in 1997 when, as a four-year-old he won the Caulfield Cup / Melbourne Cup double. He’s the only horse to lead all the way to win both great races. Like Might And Power, Alta Christiano has a free-striding style, a high cruising speed and could effortlessly draw away from fields without even appearing to accelerate – traits he also shares with his own champion sire, Christian Cullen. Alta Christiano was bred in New Zealand by Tony and Val Dickinson’s Alta Breeding Co Ltd. Right from his very first start he showed he was something special – winning on debut in February 2012 as a two-year-old in 1:56.8 by 7 ½ lengths with a 57.5 last half – paying $1.20. He also went on to win his next three starts in 1:57.6 (the Gr.3 NZ Kindergarten Stakes), 1:56.6 and 1:59.6 (last half in 56.5). Undoubtedly the hottest youngster on the New Zealand harness racing scene, he was sold for huge money to clients of Gary Hall’s Perth stable. The intention being that he would continue to race in New Zealand through both the NZ two and three-year-old Sires Stakes Series. Following a massive third in the $250,000 NZ Yearling Sales Series Final the plans went somewhat pear-shaped culminating in the diagnosis of a spiral fracture in his near hind leg. After a long period of recuperation he joined the Hall stable – and became an instant sensation. First-up he won the $50,000 Gr.2 Western Gateway Pace in 1:55.4. He then absolutely monstered them in the $200,000 Gr.1 WA Derby and in his only other start as a three-year-old he won at Pinjarra in 1:54.9. This season as four-year-old, he was in sensational form. His last four starts were victories - mostly by wide margins - in 1:56.9, 1:55.3, 1:54.2 (after sitting three wide) and 1:56.7. Only ever beaten once in nine starts in Australia, Alta Christiano most certainly excited race-goers – had it not been for being a day-to-day proposition (in all probability due to the after effects of his original injury) it could have been oh so much more. It will be as a stallion that he now gets the opportunity to fulfil this immense promise. He certainly has the pedigree to be a stallion – not only are the first four sires in his pedigree all champion, premiership-winning sires (Christian Cullen, Fake Left, Vance Hanover and Noodlum) but he also boasts the former NZ Broodmare of the Year, Black Watch as his fourth dam. Alta Christiano will be based at Alabar’s Victorian farm and will be available in Australia at a fee of A$2,750 (incl GST) and in New Zealand at NZ$2,750 (plus GST).  

Superstar Im Themightyquinn will have a new driver when he contests the $21,000 KA Cleans And Flushes Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will be handled for the first time in a race by Clint Hall, elder son of the champion pacer's trainer Gary Hall sen., with regular driver Gary Hall jun. taking the reins behind Toretto. "Clint is driving him .... Just to give him the experience," Hall sen. said. "Im Themightyquinn has gone super since his Pinjarra Cup win." Im Themightyquinn will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and is unlikely to have everything his way when he clashes with David Hercules, Crombie and his stablemate Toretto. Im Themightyquinn, who has amassed $4,451,096 from 55 wins, 19 seconds and 13 thirds, has been handled by only seven reinsmen in his Fabulous 106-start career. Hall jun. has driven him to victory 47 times. The remarkable New Zealand-bred gelding has also been driven by Kim Prentice (one win), Greg Bennett (one), Shayne Cramp (no wins), Ricky May (four), Dexter Dunn (one) and Mark Jones (one). "We always planned to give Clint a drive on Quinny at some stage," Hall jun. explained. Friday night's event looks to be an intriguing affair, with the richly-talented David Hercules resuming after a spell for trainer David Thompson, Crombie starting from the prized No. 1 barrier after finishing strongly to be a nose second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2692m Pinjarra Cup on Monday of last week, and Toretto, a nose second to Hokonui Ben in the WA Pacing Cup in mid-January, resuming after a spell. Morgan Woodley, driver of David Hercules, predicted that the race would not be a cakewalk for Im Themightyquinn, saying: "I'll be looking to make it difficult for Im Themightyquinn. I'm hoping that David Hercules is forward enough to really stretch his neck." David Hercules, who has won at four of his ten first-up runs, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line and Woodley is keen to send the seven-year-old to an early lead and then set the pace. "David Hercules trialled well at Byford on Sunday morning," Woodley said. "He drew the inside of the back row behind Toretto, who led and rated 1.55.9, a nice rate over 2150m around the Byford track. "I eased David Hercules out about 1000m from home and took a bit of closer order. They ran the last half in 56 seconds and David Hercules finished third, only about one and a half lengths from the winner, Toretto. Being the nice horse that he is, I think he will certainly be improved by the run. "If he is able to get to his favourite role in front I am sure he will give a great account of himself. Crombie has led in the past, but he is getting on a little bit in his career and in recent times he seems to be racing a bit better when driven a bit more conservatively. "He sat back on the pegs in the Pinjarra Cup and made some nice late ground against Im Themightyquinn. So, given his inside draw, he certainly will be one of the main dangers to both myself and Im Themightyquinn." Toretto, who will start from barrier five, has not raced for four and a half months. But he has had a solid preparation and is sure to be prominent. He has contested a 2150m trial at Byford on each of the past four Sundays for three wins and a second. Before leading and winning last Sunday Toretto had worked in the breeze before finishing strongly at his three previous trials. Toretto appeals as the likely breeze horse in Friday night's race, particularly as Lombo Navigator (who has worked in the breeze in many of his races) is reappearing after a four-month break and his new trainer-reinsman Ryan Bell is likely to be reluctant to give the seven-year-old a tough first-up run. Woodley has opted to drive David Hercules in preference to the speedy Dundee Three, who finished strongly when a close fourth in the Pinjarra Cup, after stylish Gloucester Park wins at his two previous outings. Owner-trainer Stephanie Smith has engaged Chris Lewis to drive Dundee Three, who faces a stern test from out wide at the No. 6 barrier. Prentice praises The Odd Lover Hopeland harness racing trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice is excited at the wonderful potential of The Odd Lover and is bubbling with confidence about the colt's winning prospects in the $100,000 International Animal Health Pearl Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He's got heaps of raw ability and is a very good horse," he said. "He hasn't had the deafeners pulled yet and I'm sure he will find a lot more lengths once we pull them." That was the chilling warning issued to the connections of the other two-year-olds who will contest the group 1 classic over 2130m. Prentice is fully aware of what is required to win the Pearl after having trained and driven 6/4 on favourite Your Call Lombo for his brilliant all-the-way victory over Spanna and Winforus in the 2002 Pearl. Your Call Lombo smashed the race record with a 1.57.5 rate over 1740m. The New Zealand-bred The Odd Lover, owned by Robert Watson, was the fastest of the three heat winners at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week, rating 1.58.2, which was considerably faster than the rate set by the other heat winners, Artillery Major (2.3.2) and Isaiah Artois (2.0.4). The Odd Lover began out wide at barrier six in his heat and Prentice restrained him at the start and the colt settled down almost seven lengths behind the early leader In Nyrobi before he urged him forward, three wide to burst to the front after 550m had been covered. He bowled along in front and sped over the final 800m in 56.9sec. The Ross Olivieri-trained Artillery Major, who set the pace in his heat, covered the final 800m in 58.9sec. and Isaiah Artois, prepared by David Thompson, came home in 58.5sec. The Odd Lover, who is by Art Major, races with his head held low, and he raced with spreaders at his latest appearance. "He had been brushing his off-side knee and was losing his confidence a little bit," Prentice explained. "So I put the spreaders on in his final track workout before the qualifying heat and he went a lot better. He will probably wear them for the rest of his two-year-old career, but I'm sure as a three-year-old he will not need them." Regarding the colt's habit of racing with his head held low, Prentice said that he worked him with a head check before he made his race debut with an easy win at Northam in late April. "But before his first start I removed the head check and put his hopples right out, and he just went a lot better," Prentice said. "Since I've had the head check off he has paced a lot better and has found a lot more speed. "I was trying different things, the one percenters, trying to get him perfect. He still hangs a bit, but he's got heaps of raw ability." The Odd Lover will start out wide at the No. 6 barrier on Friday night, but this is not causing Prentice any great concern. "In his two trials he showed very good gate speed and I've got no doubt that if I want to come out of the gate he can come out humming. He crossed from barrier five or six in his second trial at Byford." Chris Lewis gave punters a good lead when he opted to drive Artillery Major (from the favourable barrier No. 2 on the front line) ahead of the Bryan Cousins-trained In Nyrobi, whom he has driven at his only three starts for three second placings. In Nyrobi led for the first 550m in his heat and then trailed the pacemaking The Odd Lover before finishing gamely to be second, just under two lengths behind the winner. Cousins has engaged Gary Hall jun. to drive In Nyrobi and Hall is hoping that the unfavourable barrier No. 11 (four out on the back line) will be an omen for success. Hall drove 11/4 chance Swagga for trainer Kristie Morrone in last year's Pearl when the colt settled in tenth position and charged home from fifth at the bell to win by ten and a half lengths from the 10/9 on favourite Mister Jadore. Hall drove Go West U Terror for Cousins when he started from barrier two and set the pace before winning the 2009 Pearl by just under ten lengths from Soho Dionysus. Hall also won the Pearl behind the Jesse Moore-trained The Jobs On in 2004 and the Kevin Keys-trained Itsallabout Nicole in 2009. Lewis has won the Pearl with the Olivieri-trained Lombo Laredo (1994) and Argent Treasure (2007) and in 1995 with Mitemptation, who was trained by his wife Debra. Olivieri said that Artillery Major was capable of a bold showing on Friday night. "He should strip a bit fitter than he did when he raced first-up and won his heat," he said. "First-up, he was a bit slack in front, but when the challenges came he held them comfortably. He should be the early leader and will run a good race." The speedy Isaiah Artois cannot be discounted after winning in good style at each of his past three starts. He will start from barrier five on the front line and possesses good gate speed. Trainer Peter Anderson and reinsman Morgan Woodley, who combined to win the Pearl in 2008 with the brilliant James Matthew, will be represented by Nitro Lad, who will start from barrier three on the front line. He is the most experienced runner in the race, having had ten starts for one win (at Narrogin in March) and seven minor placings. He will be at long odds. Bond fancies Jungle Genie Forrestdale horseman Greg Bond, who trains Jungle Genie in partnership with his wife Skye, is confident the four-year-old will maintain her consistent form and prove hard to beat in the second heat of the Neutra Syrup Neutralises And Removes Lombardo Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "She's drawn a bit wide (No. 5), but she's more of a sit-sprint horse and is a good chance," he said. "The race lacks a bit of depth and hopefully there will be a bit of genuine speed. She can sit on speed and kick real good." Jungle Genie, who will be driven by Colin Brown, has won at 13 of her past 32 starts and she finished strongly from sixth at the bell to be second to Macintosh over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when the final 800m was covered in a slick 55.5sec. The Bonds also have two other runners in Friday night's event, four-year-olds Am Opulent and Showstopper. Am Opulent, a smart Pinjarra winner on Monday of last week, finished last in a field of seven behind Selkie at Gloucester Park last Friday night. "She was travelling well when she clipped a wheel and broke," Bond said. "It wasn't her fault and she should be running on this week." Showstopper faces a hard task from barrier six. She has not been dangerous when she started from the back line and finished eighth at Pinjarra at her past two starts. She was an easy all-the-way winner in moderate company at Harvey three starts ago. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri said he expected Arousing to, prove hard to beat after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. "This will suit her and she is capable of leading and she is a good chance," he said. Jungle Genie's younger half-sister Jungle Jewel has sound prospects in the Electromix Electrolytes And Sweat Pace for three-year-old fillies on Friday night. "She went great at Pinjarra on Monday and won with a leg in the air," Bond said. "But this is a step up in class against fillies like The Parade, Maddy White, Harper Grace and All About Pink. They show good ability and Jungle Jewel will need some luck from barrier five." Morgan Woodley, who will drive Harper Grace for owner Steve Johnson and trainer David Thompson, said that the filly had sound prospects, even though she has been unplaced at her past five starts. "I think she has a great chance from barrier one over 1730m," he said. "The statistics say that we're in with a good chance, purely on the distance and the barrier draw. I was impressed with Harper Grace's latest run when she made nice late ground to finish fifth behind Typhoon Tan. "She got wide on the last turn in a race in which they did slip home in relatively good time, and I thought that she hit the line well. The barrier draw and short trip really bring us in with a really good chance." Spectacular poised for debut victory New Zealand-bred five-year-old Spectacular should make a successful Australian debut by winning the 2130m Mecworma And Bot-Worming Paste Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. said that the Christian Cullen gelding was "nothing special," but looked the goods from his ideal barrier at No. 2 on the front line over 2130m. Spectacular has won five stands in New Zealand, but is also a capable mobile performer, with three wins in mobile events. He last appeared when he started from 20m, raced four back on the pegs and finished strongly along the inside to hit the front 30m from the post and score narrowly in a four-way photo finish, rating 2.0.7 over 2700m at Waikato.. Two starts before that he won an 1800m mobile event, rating 2.7.6 on the grass track at Wanganui when he was sixth early and then in the one-out, one-back position before spring fast in the home straight to hit the front 80m from the post. by Ken Casellas  

Barry Howlett, who runs a tree lopping business in Busselton, and Dunedin-born Matt White, who immigrated to Western Australia in late 2009, combined to cause a significant upset when White drove the lowly-credentialled Three Blind Mice to a stirring all-the-way victory in the $200,000 Sky racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Three Blind Mice, a 17/1 chance on the tote, made the most of the prized No. 1 barrier by setting the pace before revealing splendid fighting qualities to hold three geldings prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen. at bay in the group 1 classic over 2536m. Three Blind Mice, prepared by 59-year-old hobby trainer Howlett, won by a metre from 11/1 chance Eyre Crusher (Morgan Woodley), with a neck to Machtu (13/4, Kim Prentice) and a further length to even-money favourite Elegant Christian (Clint Hall). All honours were with Three Blind Mice, a gelding by American stallion Santanna Blue Chip who was purchased as a yearling in New Zealand by Howlett. But there was a dramatic discovery after the event. The brilliant Elegant Christian, who went into the race with a record of six wins and a nose second from seven starts, had the major disadvantage of having to having to carry a flat tyre on the off side wheel of the sulky over the final 1800m. The tyre deflated mysteriously. It had not been struck by the hoof of another horse or any other object. Given this impediment, combined with the fact that Elegant Christian raced three wide early and then in the breeze, his effort was outstanding. Supporters of Elegant Christian were on good terms with themselves when the gelding levelled with the pacemaker 400m from home. But White kept his cool and Three Blind Mice resisted the challenge before drawing away to win in grand style at a 1.57.5 rate, which was just outside the track record for a three-year-old, the 1.57.2 shared by Robyns C C and Machtu. Eyre Crusher trailed the leader throughout and after getting into the clear in the late stages he rattled home to be second. Machtu raced in ninth position for the first two laps before Prentice sent him forward, three wide, approaching the bell. Machtu sustained his effort to finish third, with each of the final two 400m sections being covered in 28.5sec. Three Blind Mice was afforded the luxury of coasting through the first 400m of the final mile in 30.8sec. before White increased the tempo. The stewards fined Clint Hall $400 for his incorrect use of the whip in the home straight. Three Blind Mice won once from six starts in New Zealand before Brent Mangos brought him to WA late last year when he drove him in races at Pinjarra and Harvey in November for a seventh and third placing. Three Blind Mice notched his first Australian victory three starts before the Derby, when he worked hard without cover before winning over 2150m at Harvey. Then followed a splendid strong-finishing second to Machtu over 25346m at Gloucester Park and an eighth behind Elegant Christian in the Western Gateway Pace when he was hampered for room in the final lap. Three Blind Mice went into the Derby with a modest record of two wins from 13 starts for $15,917 in prizemoney. His earnings after the Derby have been boosted to $147,917. The 29-year-old White started working for Howlett at his Busselton stables just over three months ago and he thanked Howlett and his wife Lyn for the opportunity. "This is a dream come true and Three Blind Mice is a nice horse who will be even better next year," he said. "He's got a good high cruising speed and will go a long way." The Derby victory gave Howlett and White their biggest success in harness racing. Howlett's previous biggest most important victory was as the owner, trainer and driver of Lights Above in the $75,000 State Sires Series final for two-year-old fillies in May 1994. Among his winners since then have been Lights Above's daughter Up Above, Eliza Grace, Lil Miss Hilarious and Cielito. White, who guided Vancelot Lady to victory at 10/1 at Bridgetown in December 2009 for his first WA success, was one of New Zealand's leading junior drivers from 2006 to 2008, drove Safin to victory in the Diamond for three-year-old fillies at Cambridge in May 2008. He drove Miss Bay Point to victory in the $100,000 group 1State Sires Series for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park in July 2010, and won group 2 and 3 feature events with Lombo Navigator --- the Nights of Thunder, Harvey Cup and August Cup in 2011 and the Pinjarra Cup in 2012. He also finished third with Lombo Navigator in the group 1 2012 interdominion championship final won by Im Themightyquinn. Three Blind Mice is bred to be a good winner. His dam Time Again Franco (by Holmes Hanover) is out of Tango Franco, the mother of This Time Franco (36 starts for ten wins, 11 placings and $249,151) and Franco Thunder (178 starts for 44 wins, 43 placings and $199,928). Tango Franco is a half-sister to former superstar Franco Tiger (116 starts for 43 wins, 36 placings and $991,387) and OK Tiger (52 starts for 12 wins, nine placings and $142,866) Franco Tiger's successes included the Miracle Mile at Harold Park in 1992, the Australian Pacing Championship at Bankstown in 1992, the Queensland Championship at Albion Park in 1992 and the Treuer Memorial at Bankstown in 1993. He also finished second to Sinbad Bay in the $275,000 Victoria Cup at Moonee Valley in 1991 and second to Westburn Grant in the interdominion championship at Moonee Valley in March 1992.   VOAK BRINGS UP HIS CENTURY AND GOES TO THE TOP Chris Voak maintained his grand form in the sulky when he brought 2/1 favourite Rocky Pop home with a determined burst to snatch a last-stride half-head victory over the pacemaker Fully Zapped (7/1) in the 2130m Sky Racing App Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave the 25-year-old Voak his 99th winner for the season --- and he kept up the good work with a double with Allazar and Ultimate Fighter at Harvey on Saturday night. The Harvey double placed Voak in unfamiliar territory --- on top of the Statewide reinsmen's premiership table with 101 winners from 741 drives. He has wrested the lead from champion reinsman Gary Hall jun., who is serving a term of suspension. Hall has driven 99 winners from 359 drives this season. Rocky Pop, a Jet Laag four-year-old trained in Bunbury by Murray Hansen, started from barrier two on the back line and was favourite at 2/1 after covering a lot of ground and winning at Bunbury the previous Saturday night. Polemarker Fully Zapped set the pace and he looked hard to beat after coasting through the first quarter of the final mile in 31.8sec. This prompted Voak to send Rocky Pop forward with a three-wide move 1300m from home. Rocky Pop quickly moved to third, out wide, at the bell and he sustained his effort to gain the verdict in the final stride after a final 800m in a slick 57.4sec. Rocky Pop, owned by Adam and Philip Sofoulis and Dianne Knowles, is a half-brother to Hansen's stable star Truckers Ruffnut, who has earned $249,770 from 20 wins and 14 placings from 53 starts. Rocky Pop now has raced 31 times for seven wins, 14 placings and $54,830. Rocky Pop's five-year-old half-brother Tuxedo Tour resumed racing after a spell at Harvey on Saturday night when he won for the ninth time from 34 starts and took his earnings to $108,456. HOKONUI BEN SURVIVES EARLY AND LATE CHALLENGES The ability of hot favourite Hokonui Ben to muster sufficient speed to hold out brilliant mare Sensational Gabby in the early stages of the 2130m Big Sports Breakfast TV Channel 519 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night paved the way for his narrow victory. Hokonui Ben, favourite at 6/4 on, began well from the No. 2 barrier, but was easily beaten out by Sensational Gabby, the 11/4 second fancy who began with a sparkling burst of speed from the No. 4 barrier. Sensational Gabby quickly charged to a one-length lead, but was unable to cross to the pegs. Chris Lewis then angled Sensational Gabby to the pegs to race in third position, with the polemarker Rocket Reign having gained the perfect sit behind the leader. After surviving the early challenge, Hokonui Ben was able to relax and Aldo Cortopassi sent her through the first 400m section of the final mile in a dawdling 31.8sec. before another comfortable quarter in 31.2sec. Lewis eased Sensational Gabby off the pegs with 1000m to travel to move to the breeze, a couple of lengths behind the pacemaker. The third quarter was covered in 28.5sec. and Sensational Gabby was beginning to show the pinch. Chris Playle, who was following Sensational Gabby with 22/1 chance This Time Dylan, switched the gelding three wide 250m from home. This Time Dylan sprinted home fast and just failed to overhaul Hokonui Ben, who scored in a photo by a half-head. Rocket Reign got clear in the final stages and flashed home to be a close third, just ahead of Red Salute, who finished strongly, out wide. The final 400m was covered in a fast 27.8sec. and the winner rated 1.57.7. "It's always a worry with a mare like Sensational Gabby, who can get off the gate as quick as she can," Cortopassi said. "It was lucky we got to a corner with our legs still inside her. And that helped us to keep the front. I was relatively confident after a 63sec. first half. "Hokonui Ben missed a bit of work when he got that bit of a bug. So I wanted to try to get a soft half and then run from there. It worked out pretty well, even though This Time Dylan gave us a bit of a scare on the line." Sensational Gabby faded to finish sixth in the field of seven, ahead of Dasher VC, who was at the rear throughout in his first appearance for almost three months. Hokonui Ben has amassed $596,339 in prizemoney from 19 wins and 15 placings from 55 starts. SUVALJKO DISCOVERS SECRET OF SUCCESS Byford trainer-reinsman Shannon Suvaljko has discovered the secret to winning races at Gloucester Park --- start a horse in the country the previous night. That was the formula which worked perfectly for the 45-year-old Suvaljko on Friday night when he took two horses, Love In The Dark and Celtic Crusader, to the course the night after they had competed at Narrogin, 198km south-east of Perth, on Thursday night. The long two-way float trip did not affect the pacers who scored decisive victories at Gloucester Park. They completed a driving treble for Suvaljko, who started the program by guiding the Mike Reed-trained Grand Cru to victory in the opening event. Love In The Dark failed at Narrogin when she was driven by Luke Edwards and galloped at the start before finishing sixth behind Jasper Freeway. Edwards also drove Celtic Crusader, who started at 25/1 and raced four back on the pegs before finishing solidly to be third behind Cuzin Judd. The stewards placed Love In The Dark on the outside of the back line in the 2130m In The Gig Mares Pace and the five-year-old Elsu mare was an outsider at 33/1. She raced in ninth position in the one-wide line and was eighth on the home turn before she flew home, six wide, to win by almost a length from 5/1 chance Korobeit Angel, who had set the pace after dashing to the front 550m after the start. This was Love In The Dark's third appearance in a race in Western Australia. She started favourite at 10/9 on at her first start in the State when she raced without cover and faded to eighth in a field of nine, more than ten lengths behind the winner Mississippi bell at Gloucester Park on March 28. "She's got the ability and the fast lead time (35.9sec.) and the slow last quarter (29.5sec.) probably helped her," said Suvaljko. "She raced at Narrogin the previous night --- and that might be something." Love In The Dark won once from 25 New Zealand starts and three times from 16 starts in Queensland. She now has earned $41,566 from five wins and 15 placings from 44 starts. Celtic Crusader started from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Sky Racing, No. 1 In Racing Pace and was a 6/1 chance who led for the first 150m before Suvaljko opted to take then sit behind 5/4 favourite Bettors Ace. Bettors Ace began to shorten stride in the home straight and Celtic Crusader ran on fast to burst to the front 20m from the post before defeating the pacemaker by just under a length at a 1.58.1 rate. Celtic Crusader, purchased for $10,000m by Gemma Davies and Klarry Andritsos a couple of years ago, is a hardy New South Wales-bred seven-year-old who has earned $143,751 from 19 wins and 33 placings from 140 starts. Suvaljko kept up the good work at Kellerberrin on Sunday when he drove Sir Ricky (5/2) and Laura Florence (11/8) to victory for Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg, who was also successful with even-money favourite Xupan Three, who was driven by Edwards. GRAND CRU IS BRED TO BE A WINNER Four-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Grand Cru gave a sample of his class with an easy victory in the 1730m Sky Racing TV Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is by Bettors Delight out of former champion mare Under Cover Lover, who earned $864,923 from 21 wins and 22 placings from 70 starts before being retired to the breeding barn. Tommy Smith, having his first start for just over four months for Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, was all the rage from the prized No. 1 barrier and was favourite at 7/4 on, with Grand Cru a 15/1 chance from barrier six on the front line. Shannon Suvaljko got Grand Cru away to a flying start and the gelding quickly moved to the breeze position, with Tommy Smith setting a moderate pace. Morgan Woodley attempted to shake off Tommy Smith's rivals with a sizzling third quarter in 27.3sec. But Grand Cru stuck with the flying pacemaker and got his head in front passing the 400m mark. Grand Cru then dashed away and won by 7m from Tommy Smith, rating a slick 1.56.2 rate and improving his record to seven wins and 17 placings from 41 starts. "He's racing well," said Suvaljko. "And we knew that we had to sit. So we sat up in the breeze and knew that Tommy Smith would be a bit underdone. We had to get it a bit easy so we could hold out Ohoka Kentucky (5/2 second fancy). So when he was coming, three wide, at the bell I said that we had done nothing and then had to get running. "Grand Cru got it very easy early with a first quarter of 31.1sec. and he was always on the bit. I'm sure he is capable of winning a couple more." EL MACHINE RESUMES IN FINE STYE Talented WA-bred five-year-old El Machine looks set for a successful campaign in feature events over the winter months when he resumed after a four-month absence in grand style at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Produced in splendid fettle by 26-year-old Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kade Howson (who owns the gelding in partnership with Michael George), El Machine was a well-supported 7/2 chance and he produced an excellent effort to win the 2130m Mini Owners Club of WA Club Pace by a length from the 9/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas. Polemarker I Am Legend set a solid pace, with Mighty Flying Thomas working hard in the breeze. Howson restrained El Machine from the outside of the front line back to last before sending the gelding forward, three wide, approaching the bell. El Machine got on to the back of Pride of Colorado, but when that pacer began to wilt turning into the back straight Howson switched El Machine four wide. Morgan Woodley sent Mighty Flying Thomas to the front 380m from home, but El Machine was carrying too many guns and he forged to the lead at the 250m mark. Mighty Flying Thomas fought ion grandly and finished two and a half lengths in front of the third placegetter Quick Reflection. El Machine, purchased by Howson and George for $5000 at the 2009 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale, has earned $143,514 from 17 wins and 13 placings from 43 starts. SHIRLZ SENSATION NOTCHES A HAT-TRICK West Australian-bred four-year-old Shirlz Sensation is one of the State's most improved pacers and he completed a winning hat-trick when Chris Lewis drove him to a stylish win in the second heat of the Riley Car Club Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Favourite at 11/8 from the outside of the front line, Shirlz Sensation was restrained to the rear by Chris Lewis while polemarker Ima Grumpy Jasper set the pace from 6/1 chance Vapour in the breeze. Shirlz Sensation improved to seventh at the bell, out three wide with cover, before Lewis switched him four wide with 700m to travel. He sustained his effort to hit the front 130m from the post and won by just under a length from 6/1 chance What The Blazes, who flew home from the rear. Vapour, who had got to the lead at the 450m mark, was a fighting third. Shirlz Sensation had won easily after racing without cover at his two previous starts, at Gloucester Park, and is sure to be a major fancy in the $25,000 final of the Johnson Pace next Friday week. Shirlz Sensation, raced by Margie Guy and Jandabup trainer Mike Beech, has earned $68,619 from eight wins and three placings from only 23 starts. by Ken Casellas  

Outstanding horseman Kim Prentice has gone close to winning the WA Derby a couple of times and now he feels that the time is right for him to put the record straight by winning the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will drive the New Zealand-bred three-year-old Machtu for leading trainer Gary Hall sen. and both men believe the gelding has the ability, the form and the barrier draw to win the 2536m classic. Prentice drove Machtu for the first time in a race last Friday night when he covered a good deal of ground, starting a three-wide run from eighth with 1200m to travel in the 2130m Western Gateway Pace in which stablemate Elegant Christian set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and won at a 1.56.1 rate from two other Hall runners Classic American and Eyre Crusher. Machtu, who moved to third, out three wide, at the bell, battled on gamely to finish fifth, just one and a half lengths behind the winner. Prentice went close to winning the Derby when he drove the filly Dilingers Reign into third place behind Mr Yankee and Devastating in 2006. In the previous year's Derby Prentice trained Alberta Retreat, who was driven by Chris Lewis and turned for home in front before finishing a close second to Richard Henry. "Machtu will definitely be a big player on Friday night," Prentice said. "I'm happy with the draw at barrier three on the back line and I've just spoken to Senior and he thinks that Machtu might be the pick of the stable runners, from that draw. "Machtu gave me a good feel last week and I'm happy to be sitting behind him in the Derby. I had driven him only once before, on the track, and I think the 2500m will be right up his alley. All he needs is a nice run into the race and then we'll go from there. Definitely he can fight out the finish and hopefully, if things go our way, it will be my first Derby." Hall said he considered Machtu to be a "good chance," pointing out that the gelding faced the breeze before winning a 2536m Derby prelude by 20 metres last Friday week. "Over 2130m last week it was too much rush and tear for him, and he was up there pulling at the bell," he said. "And it was too much to ask of him with Elegant Christian running those sectionals. I think he will be a big improver." Hall, who prepared his first Derby winner 12 months ago when his son Gary drove Alta Christiano to a runaway victory over Victorian pacer Macha after racing without cover for much of the journey, has four runners in Friday night's classic, Machtu, Elegant Christian (barrier No. 4 on the front line), Eyre Crusher (inside of the back line) and Classic American (barrier four on the back line). "The draw hasn't done our runners any favours," he said. "I think the draw has made it a very interesting race. It has brought Three Blind Mice into contention after drawing barrier one. And it probably has taken a couple out, like Bettor Offer and Mister Jadore. I think they will find it a lot harder from back-line draws. "Before the draw I thought those two horses would be the main dangers to our stable runners. If either had been drawn to lead I would have been really worried about them. I certainly think that Elegant Christian can win. "I think he was out of his comfort zone last week, being pushed out to lead by Ultimate Major and Bettor Offer. This led to a fast lead time of 35.6sec. and I think those two horses paid the penalty, with both of them finishing well back. "So taking a line through that I think that Elegant Christian's run was pretty good. This week I think he will be better off just coming out at his leisure and just getting across to the breeze or to the front. It's a Derby and horses drawn favourably generally do go forward in a bid to lead. I think Three Blind Mice has shown enough ability, and he can stay a bit, to maybe want to lead. And Bettor Rules (No. 3) generally likes to get to the front. If Elegant Christian gets to the breeze outside Three Blind Mice I think he would win." Clint Hall will again drive Elegant Christian and he declared that the gelding was the horse to beat. "I'm not going to put all my eggs in one basket, so I won't be going flat out for the lead," he said. "I would like to lead and if the lead is there for the taking I'll certainly take it. However, I believe that I can sit outside any of the three horses drawn on my inside and win the race." Pelusiac, trained by Andrew De Campo, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier and reinsman Aiden De Campo said that he was very happy with the draw. Pelusiac, a winner at five of his 11 starts, was unlucky in last week's Western Gateway Pace when he was distanced. "He was travelling pretty well, three wide and three back and was definitely getting into the race in the back straight in the final lap when he was knocked over by his stablemate, who was going roughly," de Campo said. "From barrier two he won't have to do too much early and we should get into a nice position. "He worked well this morning (Tuesday) and hopefully he will get a nice sit on the speed and get a bit of luck over the final 500m. And then, hopefully, he'll finish over the top of them." Hall sen. said that if Three Blind Mice set the pace it would bring Eyre Crusher (Morgan Woodley) into the race with a chance. "Morgan said that Eyre Crusher probably should have won last week's race by three or four lengths if he had got out in the home straight. He said he was bolting." Eyre Crusher finished third, just behind Classic American, who flew home from last at the bell. "It was exciting to see Classic American come back to form," Hall sen. said. "Obviously we have been driving him wrong. Soft driving helped him a lot." Henley Brook trainer-reinsman Robbie Williams will not push out with Calais from the No. 5 barrier and is hoping to obtain a favourable sit before asking the promising gelding to produce a strong finishing sprint. "It's no use worrying about the barrier," Williams said. "I will drive him softly and hope to be able to use his speed late in the race. He can run a fast 400m." Boyanup trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice had no luck at the draw, with Mista Rush drawing barrier six on the front line and Tasmanian Bromac No. 7. Both geldings will need plenty of luck to figure in the finish. The lightly-raced Mista Rush has impressed in winning the South-West Derby at Pinjarra and the Country Derby at Bunbury at his past two starts. SENSATIONAL GABBY SET TO MAKE THE SPARKS FLY The clash between noted frontrunners Hokonui Ben and Sensational Gabby in the 2130m Big Sports Breakfast TV Channel 519 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night looks set to produce plenty of fireworks and should be a major highlight on the nine-event program. Hokonui Ben, the all-the-way winner of the 2936m WA Pacing Cup in January, gained a significant early advantage by drawing barrier two in the seven-horse field and trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi is sure to attempt to burst past the polemarker Rocket Reign in the early stages. However, Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri hopes that Sensational Gabby's sizzling early speed from barrier four will enable her to outpace the three runners drawn inside of her and assume her favoured role of pacemaker. "She has very good gate speed and obviously Plan A will be to lead," Olivieri said. "If Chris (Lewis) feels that there is something happening inside of him that he doesn't like, then he will go to plan B. She has been working really well since she led and won easily from Soho Valencia two Fridays ago." In that event Sensational Gabby rated 1.54.8 over 2130m. Olivieri also has an excellent second string in Red Salute, who will start from the No. 5 barrier and will again be handled by Chris Voak. "Red Salute is a consistent performer, but he has been suffering from a sore foot," Olivieri said as he offered that problem as a legitimate excuse for the five-year-old fading to fifth behind Northview Punter and Soho Valencia after setting the pace at his latest appearance, over 2130m three Fridays ago. "Chris said that Red Salute was going like a camel down the back. The horse then blew an abscess out in a foot at his next track run, and that was obviously bothering him in the race when his effort, on the surface, was disappointing compared to his previous run (when he led and won from Sensational Gabby over 2130m). Adding considerable interest to Friday night's race will be the reappearance of star pacer Dasher VC, who will start from the outside in the field of seven. The seven-year-old and winner of the 2013 Fremantle Cup when he defeated Im Themightyquinn will be having his first start since finishing tenth in the WA Pacing Cup on January 17. His driver Aiden De Campo (son of Capel trainer Andrew De Campo) said that Dasher VC had been working strongly. "He worked with a galloping pacemaker on our track this morning (Tuesday) and worked really well," he said. "He'll probably need the run on Friday, but hopefully he's coming back to his best. "During his previous preparation we were trying to patch up a lot of holes with him, trying to be nice to him and getting him sound. This time it will be either make or break for him." Also resuming after a spell will be Rocket Reign, who should enjoy an ideal passage from the No. 1 barrier. Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg said that the ten-year-old was working really well, was sound and is looking a million dollars. GOOD DRIVE FOR LEWIS Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has been engaged to drive promising lightly-raced four-year-old Leftrightgoodnight in the Sky Racing Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he should send punters home on a winning note. Leftrightgoodnight, trained at Baskerville by Sonia Zucchiatti, impressed at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he overcame the disadvantage of a punctured sulky tyre to finish strongly from eighth at the bell to win easily from Deimos at a 1.56 rate over 1684m. He was driven by Kim Prentice, who will handle Zucchiatti's other runner Sir Kale in Friday night's race. Sir Kale, who will start from barrier four on the front line, has a losing sequence of 23 stretching back to a win in Bunbury in June 2011. He has been placed at three of his past seven starts. Prentice has driven Leftrightgoodnight at seven of his eight starts for three wins and one placing. Lewis has driven the gelding only once --- for an easy all-the-way victory over 2130m at Gloucester Park in mid-February. Leftrightgoodnight will start from barrier two on the front line and Lewis will be keen to get the gelding to an early lead. COMPACT ROCKET FAVOURED TO TURN THE TABLES Handy five-year-old Compact Rocket gets an ideal opportunity to turn the tables on his stablemate Pembrook Henry when he starts from barrier three on the front line of the 2503m Big Sports Breakfast TV Channel 519 Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Last Friday night Compact Rocket sat behind the pacemaking Pembrook Henry and was hampered for room in the closing stages when a sound third to that pacer in a 2503m stand. Pembrook Henry faces a tougher task this week off the 10m mark. Trainer Ross Olivieri said that he was confident of a bold showing this week from Compact Rocket, whose barrier manners were improving. "He was a bit hit and miss in stands, but we think that we've got him (to get away smoothly)," Olivieri said. "He went from a pole to a line pole to nothing and since we've got rid of the pole he seems a lot better." Olivieri also warned punters not to discount the winning chances of the nine-year-old Pembrook Henry, who led and won from Copagrin last week. "Starting from 10m won't be as good for him," he said. "However, I do believe that Pembrook Henry is a better horse from behind than in front, and he is beginning quickly, so he could be handily placed." MATTHEW LANDS FIRST CITY WINNER Twenty-two-year-old Harley Matthew gave a polished exhibition in the sulky to bring Loving You with a spirited burst from last to win the Young Drivers Pace at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Loving You, trained at Herron by Clive Dalton, started at 7/1. The four-year-old mare started from the outside of the front line and Matthew wisely restrained her back to last in the field of ten before starting a three-wide burst approaching the bell. Scuba Steve got past the pacemaker Visigoth 450m from home before being overhauled at the 250m mark by Loving You, who won by a half-length from the fast-finishing Blue McCool. by Ken Casellas

Elegant Christian ran a dazzling trial for the $200,000 WA Derby next Friday night when he gave a sparkling frontrunning display to win the $50,000 TABtouch Western Gateway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "I'll take them on again next week and I think we'll have a similar result," declared Clint Hall after driving the inexperienced New Zealand-bred gelding, hot favourite at 3/1 on, to a stylish victory over Classic American (54/1) and Eyre Crusher (14/1) to give master trainer Gary Hall sen. the trifecta which returned a dividend of $340.10 for a $1 investment. Hall sen. now has won the Western Gateway Pace three times, having driven The Falcon Strike to victory in 2001 and scoring with Alta Christiano in 2013 when the colt was driven by Gary Hall jun. Elegant Christian now has won at six of his seven starts, all in Western Australia, with his only defeat coming at the start before Friday night's success, when he was suffering from a mouth ulcer and hang in badly throughout before finishing a half-head second to Mister Jadore. This problem has been cured and the Hall camp is looking forward to the Derby with great confidence. Elegant Christian burst straight to the front from the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night and dashed over the lead time in a slick 35.6sec. when challenged early by Bettor Offer, who mustered plenty of early pace from the outside of the front line. Hall then was able to get Elegant Christian to relax and go through the first two 400m sections of the final mile in 30.3sec. and 30.5sec. before sprinting the third quarter in 28.2sec. and coming home in 29.1sec. to record a smart mile rate of 1.56.1 over the 2130m. Elegant Christian's stablemate Machtu, second favourite at 4/1, settled in eighth place before Kim Prentice sent him forward to move to third, out three wide, at the bell. Machtu fought on grandly to finish fifth, with Bettor Offer wilting to seventh. Fourth place went to Mister Jadore, who had followed the three-wide run of Machtu. The win boosted Elegant Christian's earnings to $92,540. Classic American, driven by Chris Voak, was most impressive. He was last in the field of 12 at the bell before unleashing a brilliant finishing burst, out wide of the track. Eyre Crusher trailed the pacemaking Elegant Christian throughout and was badly blocked for a clear passage in the concluding stages. "We expected some early pressure after his last-start defeat," said Clint Hall. "But we were very happy and confident with the horse leading into the race. I thought it would be detrimental to the chances of any horse who took Elegant Christian on early, and I think that was shown in the end. "Elegant Christian is a terrific horse. Down the back I wasn't quite sure how much he had left. He never really travels like that he's got that much left. But once I let him down he had plenty left. I knew I had the two outside of him beaten and I was just worried about Eyre Crusher then. "He's a typical Christian Cullen. He goes to the gate charging and as soon as they move away from his head he just drops the bit and does what we ask him to do." SOHO VALENCIA GETS UP IN THE FINAL STRIDE Victorian-bred five-year-old Soho Valencia further illustrated his wonderful potential and showed that he would be a major player in the feature summer carnival events next season with a fighting victory in the 2130m Princi Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Shannon Suvaljko drove a canny race in front with polemarker Franco Torres, the 8/1 third favourite behind Soho Valencia (7/4 on) and Lovers Delight (11/2) and he just failed, with Soho Valencia being fully extended in getting up to snatch victory by a nose. Soho Valencia, trained by Gary Hall sen., started from barrier three on the back line and Clint Hall settled the horse into eighth position in the one-wide line after Franco Torres had recorded a modest lead time of 37.4sec. and a first quarter in only 30.6sec. Suvaljko then increased the tempo and Franco Torres reeled off the next three quarters in 29.7sec., 27.8sec. and 28.6sec.Hall started a three-wide move with Soho Valencia approaching the bell and the horse was eighth with a lap to travel. Hall had to drive Soho Valencia hard to gain a last-stride victory by the barest possible margin. The winner rated 1.56.4 and boosted his record to 20 wins, nine placings and $320,902 from 36 starts. He has raced four times in Western Australian for two wins and two seconds. "They drove clever races up front and our hands were tied," said Clint Hall. "We had to come with one run. We thought we would save him up a bit longer tonight and come out about the 800m. If we had come out at the 1200m it might have made the difference (winning more convincingly). "Once I pulled the plugs (after turning for home) he felt like he was going to get the leader. But the leader kept kicking and made him fight it out right to the line." The stewards fined Hall $200 for an incorrect whip action in the final stages of the race. MISTER SHEEDY GIVES JONES A BIRTHDAY PRESENT Former Victorian pacer Mister Sheedy gave Lauren Jones, a recent arrival in Western Australia from Queensland, a wonderful 19th birthday present at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he scored a game win in the 2130m TAB Funding The Industry Pace. Mister Sheedy was driven confidently by Jones and his win gave master trainer Gary Hall sen. the first of four winners on the ten-event program. He was also successful with Alta Christiano, Soho Valencia and Elegant Christian. But celebrations were dampened somewhat when Mister Sheedy pulled up after the race with a fractured nearside pedal bone, an injury which will keep him out of action for at least 12 months and could quite likely spell the end of his racing career. For Jones, who answered an advertisement a couple of months ago to work for the powerful Hall training establishment in Serpentine, this was her first Metropolitan-class success in the State. Mister Sheedy, a six-year-old and winner of 13 races from only 39 Victorian starts, was making his WA debut on Friday night. He was drawn to start from the outside (barrier two) on the back line in a field of nine and was heavily supported to start favourite at 6/4 on. Polemarker Kotare Ash, second fancy at 9/2, withstood an early challenge from Anvils Big Punt and after she went through the lead time in a reasonable 37.1sec., Jones, who had settled Mister Sheedy in the favourable one-out, one-back position, seized the initiative and sent the gelding forward with a three-wide burst to move into the breeze 100m later. Kotare Ash began to wilt approaching the home turn and Jones sent Mister Sheedy to the front with 150m to travel. He went on to win at a 1.59.9 rate over the 2130m journey by one metre from 22/1 chance Rojen Cruz, who was seventh at the bell and charged home out six wide on the track. A close third was 12/1 chance Anvils Big Punt, who raced without cover early before gaining the one-out, one-back sit behind Mister Sheedy. Mister Sheedy, by American stallion Presidential Ball, has earned $85,688 from 14 wins and 13 placings from 40 starts. He had been unplaced at his final four Victorian starts and was having his first start since finishing ninth in a 1720m event at Melton last November. He is the second foal out of New South Wales-bred mare Intoxicating (by Chandon) who had 47 starts for 12 wins, ten placings and $79,060. PEMBROOK HENRY ENDS LOSING RUN OF 34 Veteran New Zealand-bred pacer Pembrook Henry is thriving on racing and after breaking a losing sequence of 34 by winning the 2503m TAB Bet Today Collect Today Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night reinsman Chris Lewis predicted further successes for the hardy nine-year-old. "If he begins as fast as he did tonight there's definitely a few more wins in him," said Lewis after Pembrook Henry, a 9/1 chance, had begun speedily from barrier five on the front line in the stand and led all the way. "You like to see them jump away that quick and that was a boost to his confidence (getting straight to the front). Then we were able to get the sections we needed and he hit the line fairly solidly." Pembrook Henry, trained by Ross Olivieri, had finished second at each of his four runs since resuming in late February after a two-month break. His task on Friday night was made easier by the scratching of noted frontrunner and last-start winner Major Fury and the bad manners of polemarker and 5/2 favourite Copagrin, who galloped at the start and dropped back to fifth. Frontmarker Maggies Mystery also was slow to begin and Lewis was able to shoot Pembrook Henry straight to the front. Callan Suvaljko dashed Copagrin forward, three wide, in the first lap to move into the breeze after a lap had been completed. After opening sections of the final mile in 31.1sec. and 30.8sec., Lewis gave the opposition little chance as he urged Pembrook Henry to move up a gear. The oldstager, owned by Montana Stark, sprinted the final quarters in 29sec. and 28.2sec,. and he won by just over a length from Copagrin, with Compact Rocket finishing third after trailing the leader all the way. Pembrook Henry, whose previous win was at Melton in July 2012, is the latest beneficiary of the drop-down rule which enables pacers handicapped M2 or better to drop down one classification after every losing sequence of ten. Pembrook Henry arrived in Western Australia in the winter of 2012 as an M3-class pacer and he has dropped back to an M1 mark which enabled him to start off the front line in Friday night's event. Now a winner of one race from 21 WA starts, Pembrook Henry won three races in New Zealand and 11 times in Victoria. WILKINS LUCINDA RELISHES THE INSIDE DRAW The tremendous advantage of the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park was further illustrated on Friday night when Wilkins Lucinda, a four-year-old mare with a losing sequence of nine, made full use of the inside draw by setting a fast pace and scoring an easy win in the 1730m Gannons Pace for mares. Most punters took little heed of her favourable barrier and the Noel Keiley-trained mare was a 10/1 chance, with Jungle Genie favourite at 7/4 on from barrier two on the back line. Aldo Cortopassi got Wilkins Lucinda away to a flying start and the mare gave her rivals very little chance by speeding over the final four 400m sections in 28.5sec., 29.5sec., 29sec. and 28.4sec. She recorded a slick 1.54.8 rate and took her record for owner Stan Wilkins to 39 starts for seven wins, 13 placings and stakes of $80,979, a figure boosted by her third to Lucky Joy in the group 1 $100,000 State Sires Series for two-year-old fillies in July 2012 and her win in a $25,000 listed classic for three-year-olds last June. By Rich And Spoilt, Wilkins Lucinda is the fourth foal out of Shoneer Lobell, who won five races in New South Wales and five in WA for earnings of $52,353. Wilkins Lucinda is a full-sister to Sheer Dreams (157 starts for 19 wins, 47 placings and $153,994) and Sweet Charlee (67 starts for 11 wins, 17 placings and $77,630). Cortopassi said that he had given Wilkins Lucinda an excellent winning chance after driving her the previous Friday night when she had to be retired with broken gear. "Forget last week," he said. "She was going extremely well when she broke a hopple. And tonight I was not worried after she had run the opening quarter in 28.5sec. She actually had her ears pricked. She was happy in doing what she was doing, just happy to be rolling along. So I let her do what she wanted." AROUSING FOLLOWING IN HER DAM'S FOOTSTEPS Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri's honest mare Arousing maintained her consistent form when she was driven a treat by Kristian Hawkins to win the 2130m The West Australian Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Arousing, who has earned $86,818 from nine wins and 22 placings from 82 starts, is following the steps of her dam Roustabout, who showed considerable promise with two wins in New Zealand and two in WA before being retired with earnings of $33,171 after only 12 starts. Roustabout, by Christian Cullen, showed her class by winning the group 3 Empress Stakes from Precious Maiden and Sovereign Beejay at Gloucester Park in March 2006. Arousing is her first foal and Arousing's younger half-sister Loving You finished third behind Frith in the group 1 WA Oaks last year and has a record of 33 starts for seven wins, 11 placings and $70,292. Hawkins drove Arousing at Gloucester Park for the second time at her previous start three weeks earlier when the mare finished sixth behind Southern Legacy. He admitted after Friday night's victory that he was to blame for the mare's unplaced effort, saying: "I slaughtered her at her last start, so I knew I had to be patient this week whereas I wasn't at her previous run." Arousing, favourite at 11/4 from the No. 2 barrier, challenged unsuccessfully for the early lead, but polemarker Chillin Dylan (13/4) held up and Hawkins cleverly slotted Arousing in behind the pacemaker 200m after the start. The Oyster Bar (3/1) broke into a gallop after 200m and outsider Touch Me Toes moved up to race in the breeze, giving My Bachelors Delight a perfect sit, one-out and one-back. Arousing appeared to be in all sorts of trouble half-way down the back straight in the final circuit when Chillin Dylan began to weaken, shuffling Arousing back to fifth. Hawkins kept his composure and eventually was able to ease Arousing off the pegs 350m from home. Arousing finished determinedly to hit the front close to home and win by a half-length from My Bachelors Delight, who had taken the lead with 520m to travel and had opened up a, lead of two lengths at the 100m mark. "I knew I had plenty of horse in my hands, but Aiden's horse (Aiden De Campo's My Bachelors Delight) had a pretty handy break on me at the right time," Hawkins said. "It just came down to a bit of luck when we got out." LITTLE BOY BLUE IS A GREAT INVESTMENT How do you multiply an investment by five times? It's simple. Buy your wife a pacer for $10,000 and watch it as he earns $50,660m in the space of eight months. That's what Waroona horseman Bob Mellsop did last July. He outlaid $10,000 to purchase Little Boy Blue Blue to give to his wife Val as a birthday present. Little Boy Blue, driven by Kiara Davies, set a fast pace and outclassed his rivals in the TAB Radio Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His four-length victory over I Am Legend took his record for his new owner to five wins and six placings from 19 starts. And that boosted the New Zealand-bred five-year-old's career record to 58 starts for 13 wins, 20 placings and $117,276. Everything fell into place for Little Boy Blue, who started from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and second favourite at 11/4. Polemarker Carters Rocket, an all-the-way winner the previous week, galloped badly at the start and dropped back to a distant last and I Am Legend paced roughly after starting from barrier two. Davies grabbed the heaven-sent opportunity to dash Little Boy Blue straight to the front and the gelding charged through the lead time in a fast 35.4sec. as he established a three-length lead over I Am Legend. This left the 7/4 favourite Mighty Flying Thomas in the breeze. Davies let Little Boy Blue roll along in the lead and he sped over the final two quarters in 29.2sec. and 28.6sec. to leave his nine rivals floundering in his wake. I Am Legend fought on to be second, almost a length in front of Mighty Flying Thomas. The winner rated a smart 1.55.8 over the 2130m trip. "When the one galloped and the two went rough, I just went for it," Davies said. "And once I saw them coming (in the back straight in the final lap) I thought I'd get them running because Little Boy Blue is pretty hard to catch once he gets going." CONNIVING MAJOR DAVE BOUNCES BACK Tenth placings at each of at his past two appearance and just one minor placing from his past seven starts did not deter many smart punters who cashed in when Aiden De Campo drove Conniving Major Dave to victory in the 2130m British Night Next Friday Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Conniving Major Dave started from barrier four on the front line and he enjoyed a perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position before finishing boldly to defeat the pacemaker Ohoka Squire (9/2) by a neck, with Grand Cru fighting on from sixth at the bell to be third. "His past two starts weren't his fault," said de Campo. "It was probably my fault, hitting a couple of wheels. He trialled well on Wednesday when he got over Dasher VC, sitting on him and running a quick last half. "Tonight I was pretty confident if he got the right sit and steered tractably. He got down a bit on the last bend which cost us a length or so. But he was still good enough to win. He's got a lot to learn and I really like the horse. He's got a bit of toughness and, hopefully, he can win a couple more." Conniving Major Dave, trained by de Campo's father Andrew, has earned $44,913 from eight wins and six placings from 29 starts. He has raced 17 times in WA for five wins and five placings. His dam Kind Martar is a younger sister of Pocket of Grace, who had 210 starts for 30 wins (16 in Queensland and 14 in New South Wales) and 41 placings for stakes of $160,975. HIGH FIVE MOZZA BREAKS THROUGH AT LAST Punters rallied to support High Five Mozza in the 2130m Sky Racing Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, not because he went into the race with a losing sequence of 34 and had not managed a minor placing at his most recent nine starts, but because he had drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier. He was solidly supported to start favourite at 11/8 in a particularly weak field. Then everything went according to the script. Shannon Suvaljko jumped the New South Wales-bred six-year-old straight to the front. After a moderate lead time of 38.2sec. and a slow first quarter in 31.2sec. High Five Mozza broke 30sec. for the next three quarters to win by just under a length from 9/2 chance Will of Iron, who ran on from sixth at the bell. High Five Mozza, prepared at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, finally repaid the trainer for her perseverance and patience. The gelding had managed six placings from his first 32 starts in WA before Friday night's success. He won ten races in New South Wales (eight at Penrith and once each at Bankstown and Newcastle and had six starts in Victoria for one win before arriving in WA. by Ken Casellas  

Reinsman Clint Hall declared that inexperienced gelding Elegant Christian was spot on for the WA Derby on Friday week and was supremely confident that he would wind up his preparation for the $200,000 classic by winning the $50,000 TABtouch Western Gateway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Elegant Christian stunned punters when he started at 25/1 on and was beaten in a minor event at Gloucester Park on Monday of last week. However, Hall said that there was a significant excuse for that defeat (by a nose behind Mister Jadore) and that the lightly-raced three-year-old had bounced back to his brilliant best with a dazzling performance in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he romped to a 15-length victory after flying home over the final 800m in 55.5sec. "He drew the outside of the front line in the trial and I kept him four and five wide on the first corner before easing him back to last," he said. "And then after we got through the first quarter I asked him to come out and he went up and took the breeze and he raced there for a lap until he went to the front at the bell. "I sent him around the last two corners and he was fine, back to normal. We added a nearside lugging pole, a Murphy blind and an underhead check --- and he felt super. "I made him run round the corner from the 800m to the 600m and made him run again from the 400m to the 200m. I then let him ease up going to the line and I was quite surprised when I saw he had run 26.9sec. for the last quarter." Six days earlier Elegant Christian hung very badly in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park when he raced in the breeze outside Mister Jadore. He fought on gamely, but just failed to overhaul the pacemaker. Trainer Gary Hall sen. then discovered that the gelding was suffering from an ulcer in his mouth which caused him to hang inwards. This has been cured. That was Elegant Christian's first defeat in a six-start career and now Clint Hall is bubbling with confidence that the gelding will be untroubled to set the pace from the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line in Friday night's group 3 event. Elegant Christian is one of four runners from the powerful Hall stable, the others being Machtu, Eyre Crusher and Classic American. Kim Prentice will drive Machtu from barrier two on the back line, Morgan Woodley has been booked to handle Eyre Crusher (inside of the back line) and Chris Voak will drive Classic American from barrier four on the back line. Clint Hall drove Machtu when he gave a superb performance to score a runaway victory in a 2536m Derby prelude last Friday night. But he had no hesitation in choosing to drive Elegant Christian this week. Machtu settled at the rear in last week's event before surging forward to the breeze in the middle stages and then charging away from his rivals to win by just under seven lengths from Three Blind Mice. "It was a super run by Machtu and he is sure to be prominent in this week's race," Hall said. "Eyre Crusher will appreciate drawing the inside of the back line and should follow Elegant Christian. He should finish in the top three." Eyre Crusher has had nine starts for four wins and four seconds. Classic American has won at six of his nine starts, but faces a stern test from barrier four on the back line. Mister Jadore, a winner of ten races, also faces a tough task from the outside of the back line. Pelusiac, with a record of five wins and three seconds from ten starts, left Hall's stables last Sunday week and will be making his first appearance for Capel trainer Andrew De Campo. He will be handled by Aiden De Campo from barrier three on the back line. Adding further interest to the race will be the Australian debut of Ultimate Major, who has entered de Campo's stables this year after winning at three of his four starts in New Zealand late last year. He will start from barrier four on the front line. Three Blind Mice (barrier two) and Calais (three) are smart geldings who are racing keenly and should be prominent. However, Elegant Christian appears likely to carry too many guns for his rivals and should give Hall sen. his third success in the Western Gateway Pace. He trained and drove The Falcon Strike when he beat Knightwatchman and Shadow Maker in 2001 and he prepared Alta Christiano for his success 12 months ago. HALL SAYS SOHO VALENCIA IS "GOING PLACES" "I think he's going places and is a Christmas horse, and a Christmas horse should take care of these," said Clint Hall when assessing the prospects of Soho Valencia in the 2130m Princi Butchers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall will drive the five-year-old, who will start from barrier three on the back line and is likely to make a sweeping move in the first lap in a bid to burst to the front. Soho Valencia is one of four runners in the race prepared by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., the others being last-start winner Dashing Christian (Kim Prentice), Benjamin Banneker (Kiara Davies) and Our Arlington (Lauren Jones). They are better-assessed pacers than Soho Valencia, who is an M1-class performer. But Soho Valencia has greater ability and potential than that trio and he is certain to prove very hard to beat after second placings as favourite on the past two Friday nights. They were his first two runs after an injury-enforced absence of 17 months and they were full of merit. He had a tough run when a fighting second to his classy stablemate Northview Punter last Friday week and then he raced without cover all the way when second to the brilliant mare Sensational Gabby last Friday night. "He drops down a bit in class this week after last week's Free-For-All," said Clint Hall. "His run last week was super. Chris Lewis (Sensational Gabby) didn't make the mistake of letting Soho Valencia into the race after having the advantage of the barrier draw. This week Soho Valencia will be hard to beat." The prospects of Lovers Delight, the impressive winner of the Clarke final last week when he worked hard in the breeze before getting up to defeat Lord Lombo, deteriorated when he drew the outside of the front line in the preferential barrier draw. Dashing Christian has drawn ideally at No. 2 on the front line and is capable of a bold showing. He should be prominent throughout. He impressed last Friday night when he raced three back on the pegs before charging home to snatch a nose victory over Mighty Flying Thomas. Adding interest to the race will be the return of smart eight-year-old Ohoka Samson for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Kade Howson. Ohoka Samson has been off the scene for four months, but impressed when he sprinted over the final 400m in 27.6sec. to win a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning, rating 1.55.9. He will start from barrier four on the back line. DROP-DOWN RULE SHOULD HELP MAGGIES MYSTERY When smart five-year-old mare Maggies Mystery was an unlucky fourth behind Erris Lad last Friday night she increased her losing sequence to ten and immediately became the latest beneficiary of the drop-down rule, with her classification being altered from an M3 to an M2 mark. This has enabled her to be handicapped off the front line in the discretionary M1 and better Bet Today Collect Today Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night, thus boosting her prospects. Maggies Mystery, to be driven by Aldo Cortopassi for Burekup trainer Colin Reeves, was unlucky last week. She was in ninth position on the pegs at the bell and was finishing strongly, but was hampered for room when fourth, just over a length behind the winner. She caught the eye four days earlier when a fast-finishing fourth behind Soho Jackman in a 1730m, sprint at Gloucester Park. There is plenty of exposed form in Friday night's standing-start event over 2503m and punters should get great value for their investments, with polemarker Copagrin and last-start all-the-way winner Major Fury (barrier two) sure to be prominent. Hez Got The Nod, J Walker, Pembrook Henry, Balleybofey, Danieljohn and Erris Lad all have sound claims. QUINNY GETS ALTA CHRISTIANO ON THE MOVE Richly-talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old Alta Christiano was beaten in a track workout last Saturday morning. But it was an effort which enhanced his prospects of winning the first heat of the Making Smoking History Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Why? The answer is simple. He was beaten on the home track of Serpentine master trainer Gary Hall sen. by none other than superstar Im Themightyquinn. Alta Christiano, driven by Clint Hall, set the pace in then workout before being beaten comfortably by Im Themightyquinn (Gary Hall jun.). "We ran the mile and a half on the 1000m track in 3min. 3sec. and the last quarter took 27.1sec.," said Clint Hall. "It was Quinny's first real hit-out and his first workout with another horse in this preparation. He went to the line under a strong hold. "Alta Christiano should be too good for his rivals on Friday night. His first-up run was very good. He was nice and relaxed and sharp at the end, and he wanted to run another quarter." In that 2536m event at Gloucester Park last Monday week Alta Christiano made most of the running and won easily from Jungleface Jake after sprinting over the final 800m in 55.8sec. and the last 400m in 27sec. It was his first appearance after a ten-month absence. Alta Christiano will start from the inside of the back line on Friday night and Hall is likely to attempt to get him off the pegs and to go forward as early as possible. Im Themightyquinn will return to Gloucester Park on Friday week with an exhibition workout. He is expected to return to racing on the same track a fortnight later. SCHOOLBOY LANDS FIRST CITY WINNER Sixteen-year-old schoolboy Micheal Ferguson took time off from his studies to go to Gloucester Park with his parents Brian and Allison on Tuesday evening --- and he landed his first city winner by driving 5/2 chance Barkers Hall to an all-the-way victory over the even-money favourite Dashing Major in the 2536m Schweppes Pace. A day earlier, he got permission to take the afternoon to attend the meeting at Pinjarra where he drove Adda Notherzero to a thrilling nose victory over Chooks Reward after bringing Guilty Grin from the rear to finish a nose second to Director Whitby Ferguson now has driven four winners in his brief career after learning the ropes from his father, a Byford trainer-reinsman who has been concentrating on breaking in young pacers in recent years. Young Ferguson also has been assisting at the Serpentine stables of leading trainer Gary Hall sen. during school holidays and on weekends. Barkers Hall, a Victorian-bred five-year-old, is trained by Hall and his win on Tuesday night was his first in 12 starts in Western Australia. Ferguson jumped Barkers Hall straight to the front from the No. 2 barrier and he stole a march on his rivals when he was able to get the gelding to amble through the first two 400m sections of the final milem in 32.7sec. and 30.7sec. before increasing the tempo with two final quarters in 28.4sec. by Ken Casellas  

Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. has a massive opinion of five-year-old Soho Valencia and he has decided to throw the stallion in at the deep end by starting him in open-class company in the 2130m Ray Duffy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall has thrown down the gauntlet by opting to start the stallion, at his second appearance after an injury-enforced absence of 17 months, against seasoned campaigners, including WA Pacing Cup winner Hokonui Ben and brilliant mare Sensational Gabby. The Duffy Memorial is a $21,000 event for pacers handicapped M5 or better. Soho Valencia is on an M1 mark and Hall had the option of starting him against weaker opposition in the $17,500 Pace. But Hall is confident that Soho Valencia has the class to defeat his rivals in the Duffy Memorial, saying: "I'd like to see him lead in a Free-For-All over 2130m and see how good they are. I know how good he is." Whether Soho Valencia, to be driven by Clint Hall, is capable of leading in Friday night's race is a moot point. He will start from barrier two on the front line, with the five-year-old Sensational Gabby on his inside. Sensational Gabby possesses sparkling gate speed and Chris Lewis is certain to attempt to jump in front and set a merry pace. Soho Valencia had his first start since October 2012 when he contested the Four And Five-Year-Old Championship last Friday night. He started from barrier four on the back line, was sent forward, three wide, after 600m and then raced on the outside of the pacemaker Red Salute before getting to the front 250m from home and finishing second to Northview Punter. Soho Valencia finished more than two lengths in front of Sensational Gabby, who started from the outside of the front line and impressed in sustaining a spirited three-wide burst (with cover) from tenth at the bell to be sixth. Looming large as the horse to beat for both Soho Valencia and Sensational Gabby is Hokonui Ben, the all-the-way winner of the $400,000 WA Pacing Cup over 2936m on January 17. He finished with a powerful burst from eighth at the bell to win from Northview Punter and David Hercules two starts ago and then covered a lot of extra ground when fourth behind Red salute and Sensational Gabby last Friday week. Hokonui Ben will start from the outside of the front line for trainer-reinsman Aldo Cortopassi , but the seven-year-old with an M11 classification has the class to overcome this disadvantage. Hall, who has trained 122 winners this season, prepares five of the eight runners in the Duffy Memorial. His other four starters are Famous Alchemist, Whos Mistake, Passion Stride and Code Red. MACHTU LOOKS THE GOODS IN DERBY PRELUDE New Zealand-bred gelding Machtu looks set to return to the winning list by proving too fast and too strong for his nine rivals in the 2536m Cowden Ltd WA Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will start from barrier four on the front line for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Clint Hall, who will replace his younger brother Gary, who has driven the gelding at his four starts in Western Australia for three runs and a last-start second to stablemate Elegant Christian over 2536m at Gloucester Park last Friday week. Gary Hall jun. is serving a 30-day suspension. Machtu was far from disgraced at his most recent appearance when he raced wide and then worked hard outside the pacemaking Elegant Christian. Machtu refused to give in and was beaten by less than a length after dashing over the final 800m in 55.3sec. His most serious rival on Friday night is likely to be his stablemate Classic American, who will start from the outside of the back line with Kim Prentice in the sulky. Classic American, a seven-length winner at his only appearance in New Zealand, over 2200m at Cambridge last June, made his Australian debut at Gloucester Park early last December when he raced in the breeze and finished second to Calais. He then chalked up wins at his next five starts before his defeat at Bunbury last Saturday night. He went to Byford on Sunday morning where he rated 1.58.6 in winning a 2150m trial after trailing the pacemaker Keeper of Keys. The final 400m took 28.1sec. Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson has three New Zealand-bred runners in Friday night's event --- polemarker So Ubettabelieveit, Live Life Fast (barrier six) and Ohoka Cooper (barrier three on the back line) and Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond will be represented by Black Mr Mach (barrier three) and Zacharia (barrier seven). The Hall camp will take the highly-promising Elegant Christian to the Byford trials on Sunday morning after the gelding suffered a shock defeat at 25/1 on in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. Elegant Christian, who went into the race with a perfect record of five wins from five starts, started from the No. 3 barrier on the front line and jumped a length clear of polemarker Mister Jadore. But he was unable to cross to the pegs and then proved a handful for Clint Hall as he hung in badly when racing in the breeze. He finished determinedly to be a half-head second to Mister Jadore. The stewards then ordered the gelding back to trials. Trainer Gary Hall sen. said that Elegant Christian was affected by an ulcer in his mouth which caused him to hang. "We'll clear that up and then he should be okay," he said. Another WA Derby prospect Pelusiac left Hall's Serpentine training establishment last Sunday morning and has entered the Capel stables of Andrew De Campo. Pelusiac had ten starts for Hall for five wins and three seconds. He was a 5/2 on favourite in a Derby prelude at Gloucester Park last Friday night when he worked in the first 500m before taking the lead. He set the pace before wilting to fifth behind stablemate Eyre Crusher. PACIFIC WARRIOR WILL NEED LUCK FROM TRICKY DRAW Rising star Pacific Warrior, the fastest of the three heat winners,has drawn awkwardly on the inside of the back line and will need luck when he contests the $25,000 final of the Litter Scrapbooking Clarke Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pacific Warrior, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, has won in dashing style at his past three starts and would have been a warm favourite if he had drawn a favourable barrier on the front line. The race now appears a far more open affair. Reinsman Kade Howson is likely to determine his tactics as the race unfolds. There is reasonable doubt whether the polemarker Benjamin Banneker possesses the necessary gate speed to hold up. If Benjamin Banneker, who has shown gate speed in a couple of his starts, does set the pace and Howson decides to trail him there will be the distinct possibility of Pacific Warrior being denied a clear passage in the final circuit. Benjamin Banneker, trained by Gary Hall sen., has not led all the way in any of his 30 starts which have produced ten wins and eight placings. Most of Benjamin Banneker's victories have come when he has unwound a spirited finishing burst. He has drawn the No. 1 barrier only once before. That was at Gloucester Park last May when he started at 5/2 on and galloped at the start before racing three wide for much of the 2130m journey and finishing gamely to snatch victory by a head. Pacific Warrior relished the task of racing without cover before winning narrowly from the pacemaker Lovers Delight in the third qualifying heat of the Clarke Pace. He rated 1.56 which was significantly better than the rates recorded by the other heat winners, Franco Torres (1.56.7) and Hokuri Handrail (1.58.5). Hokuri Handrail rated 1.56 when he flooded home from eighth on the pegs at the bell to win from Little Boy Blue and Korobeit Angel over 1730m last Friday night. He is a speedy beginner and noted frontrunner who will start from barrier three on the front line and could be seen in the role of pacemaker in Friday night's race. Lord Lombo is a versatile in-form pacer who has good gate speed and is a smart frontrunner. Chris Voak could well attempt to burst to an early lead from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Lord Lombo rattled home from eighth at the bell when second to Hokuri Handrail last Friday week and he was a fast-finishing winner over Uppy Son at his previous start. Lovers Delight and Our Arlington are in fine form and each is capable of winning without surprising. Back-line runners Braemoor and Rocky Marciano can produce strong finishing bursts, but they will need plenty of luck from wide draws. BONDS HOLD STRONG HAND IN MARES EVENT Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand with four-year-olds Am Opulent and Jungle Genie in the 2130m Gannon's Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Am Opulent returned to form and broke a losing sequence of ten when she made full use of the coveted No. 1 barrier by leading and winning by three lengths from Adda Rising Star over 2150m at Harvey last Saturday week. Jungle genie started from the outside of the front line and fought on gamely from sixth at the bell to be third. Am Opulent fared the best in the random draw and again will start from the No. 1 barrier. She should lead and prove hard to catch. Jungle Genie, a winner at 11 of her past 22 starts, cannot be dismissed, even from out wide at No. 6 on the front line. Adda Rising Star followed her Harvey second to Am Opulent with a solid win at Bunbury last Saturday night when she raced without cover before beating Lucky Drew by a length. She should be prominent from barrier two. The Debbie Padberg-trained Lavra Florence impressed at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon when she trailed the pacemaker Showstopper before finishing powerfully to win from that mare and Cieleto at a 1.58.1 rate over 2130m. The New Zealand-bred former Victorian performer will start from barrier five on the front line and looks sure to win many more races. MAJORLY FOXY STYYX TO MISS OAKS Outstanding filly Majorly Foxy Styx has broken down and will miss the $150,000 WA Oaks at Gloucester Park on May 9. "She has bowed a tendon in the nearside foreleg," said trainer Gary Hall sen. Majorly Foxy Styx looked a near certainty in the Oaks after winning in convincing style at her past seven starts. At her most recent outing she romped to victory by six lengths over The Parade in the group 2 Dainty's Daughter Classic at Gloucester Park. That took her record to 15 starts for seven wins and three placings for stakes of $90,530. Meanwhile, star four-year-old Alta Christiano reappeared after an injury-enforced absence of ten months at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon when he scored an effortless all-the-way victory in a modest C3-class event over 2536m. Driven by Clint Hall, Alta Christiano, produced in big and burly condition by leading trainer Gary Hall sen., took the lead 250m after the start and after ambling through the first two quarters of the final mile in 32.6sec. and 31.7sec., he sprinted over the next two sections in 28.8sec. and 27sec. to beat Jungleface Jake by two and a half lengths at a 2.1.4 rate. Alta Christiano is unbeaten at his first four Australian starts after four wins from eight starts in New Zealand. The easy winner of the WA Derby last April will have his next start at Gloucester Park on Friday week. De CAMPO COMEBACK AT WAGIN Outstanding Capel trainer Andrew De Campo is planning a surprise comeback to race driving. The 47-year-old horseman has nominated himself to drive stablemates Vibrate and Trojan Bromac at the meeting at Wagin on Friday night. He has not driven in a race since 33/1 chance Zenthura raced in the breeze and wilted to seventh behind Paddy Whacked over 1750m at Kalgoorlie on November 13, 2011. His most recent winner was Nowuseeme, who started at 5/1 on and made most of the running to score easily from Mabel Rose over 2100m at Bunbury on June 26, 2009. Vibrate has a losing sequence of 12, stretching back to January 2012. The seven-year-old will start from barrier five in the 2180m Fleay Grocery Store Darkan Pace. Trojan Bromac, a winner of 18 races, will start from the outside in a field of six in the 2180m Darkan Cup, in which the main fancies are expected to be Major Catastrophe (David Young) and Im Riddick (Aaron Beckett). by Ken Casellas

Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. maintained his dominance of feature events at Gloucester Park when his younger son Gary produced a near-perfect drive to land up-and-coming star Northview Punter a decisive and impressive winner of the $35,000 Alltools Four And Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And to emphasise the 64-year-old's overwhelming superiority in West Australian harness racing he produced the trifecta, with Soho Valencia (Clint Hall) finishing second, a neck ahead of Benjamin Banneker (Justin Prentice). The trifecta paid $514.70 for a $1 investment. Hall sen. is now mapping out plans for the New Zealand-bred four-year-old Northview Punter to contest the rich feature events at next summer's Gloucester Park carnival. "He has taken his time to hit his straps," Hall jun. said. "He's always had the ability, but it has taken a little while to get it out of him. He's a bull and he's starting to mature at the right time. "I always thought that he was just below them (the State's top pacers), but the way he's going now, and if he keeps heading in that direction, he's going to be a player come Christmas." In a keen betting race, Northview Punter was solidly supported to start third favourite at 7/2, with five-year-olds Soho Valencia and Red Salute sharing favouritism at 2/1. Benjamin Banneker was a 52/1 tote outsider. Red Salute, as expected, jumped straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier and Hall jun. urged Northview Punter forward from the No. 4 barrier to race three wide for the first 200m before applying some pressure on Red Salute. Northview Punter then gained the one-out, one-back trail after a lap when Soho Valencia (sent forward, three wide, after 600m) moved into the breeze. After moderate first sections of the final mile in 30.8sec. and 30.4sec., the third 400m section whizzed by in a sizzling 27.7sec. when Soho Valencia challenged Red Salute for supremacy. Finally, Soho Valencia took the lead 250m from home, but he was unable to withstand the powerful late burst from Northview Punter, who burst to the front with 70m to travel and went on to win by just under a length at a 1.57.1 rate after a final quarter of 28.8sec. Benjamin Banneker raced three back on the pegs before finishing strongly to be third, with Rocky Marciano sustaining a spirited three-wide burst to be a splendid fourth. Red Salute wilted to fifth. Northview Punter, by Bettors Delight, has now earned $256,915 from 18 wins and 12 placings from 38 starts. Hall jun. admitted that he was "not really confident" after the third quarter in 27.7sec., saying: "He did sort of drop the bit at that stage. He does struggle a bit with point-to-point speed. But that quarter down the back definitely brought me into the race and on the bend he was charging, full of running." HALL SUSPENDED FOR 30 DAYS AND WILL MISS WA DERBY Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has been denied the opportunity of winning the $200,000 WA Derby on April 11 after being suspended for 30 days for causing interference in the Alltools Red Lithium Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The 31-year-old Hall, in the sulky behind 7/4 favourite Korobeit Angel, was suspended for severely checking the early pacemaker Lord Lexus rounding the first turn shortly after the start of the 1730m event. Korobeit Angel, who started from barrier three and raced three wide early, contacted the off fore leg of Lord Lexus, causing the 5/1 third favourite to break into a gallop and drop back to the rear. Korobeit Angel then went on to set the pace. She pulled hard in the lead and wilted to finish third behind the fast-finishing last-start winner and 20/1 chance Hokuri Handrail and Little Boy Blue. The 30-day suspension is the heaviest penalty in recent years imposed on a driver causing interference in a race in WA. The stewards intended to hand down a 34-day suspension before reducing the penalty to 30 days after Hall pleaded guilty to the charge of careless driving in that he allowed Korobeit Angel to shift in and check Lord Lexus. Hall decided to start his suspension immediately and did not drive at the Bunbury meeting on Saturday night. He has driven 99 winners in WA this season and will be eligible to resume at the Pinjarra meeting on Monday April 21. Korobeit Angel sprinted over the first 400m section of the final mile in 28.4sec. and sustained a smart pace with the next quarters in 29.3sec., 29.3sec. and 29.1sec. Hokuri Handrail, an M3-class pacer, became eligible to contest Friday night's event restricted to M0 and M2-class performers when trainer Kristie Morrone engaged Luke Edwards to make use of his concession as a junior driver. Hokuri Handrail started from the outside of the back line and was on the pegs in eighth position at the bell before Edwards brought the New Zealand-bred six-year-old home with a brilliant burst. Edwards eased the gelding off the pegs with 250m to travel and after going four wide on the home turn Hokuri Handrail charged home from fifth at the 100m mark to burst to the front 50m from the post. He rated 1.56 in scoring his 13th win from 39 starts in WA. He now has earned $129,752 from 18 wins and ten placings from 61 starts. DALTON MAKES A GREAT START TO WA CAREER Former Victorian trainer-reinsman Clive Dalton made a wonderful debut as a trainer at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Major Fury set the pace and held on to win the 2503m Alltools The Name Says It All Handicap. The 55-year-old Dalton, who has driven about 500 winners and trained almost 700 winners in Victoria, prepares Major Fury for New South Wales breeder-owner Matthew Sandblom at Neven Botica's Herron property, 60km north of Bunbury. Dalton took over the preparation of Major Fury from Peter Tilbrook after the NSW-bred five-year-old had finished second to Hez Got The Nod at Gloucester Park a fortnight before Friday night's success. In an unusual coincidence, Next Dawn, the winner of the final race on Friday night's program, was trained and driven by Dalton for 17 starts in 2011 for three wins at Shepparton and one win at Cobram. Major Fury was a firm even-money favourite on Friday night and his supporters were on good terms with themselves when Callan Suvaljko got the gelding away to a flying start from the inside of the front line. After an opening quarter of the final mile in 30.7sec., Suvaljko increased the tempo and Major Fury covered the next three sections in 29.7sec., 28.9sec. and 29.2sec. Major Fury fought on tenaciously to beat 10/1 chance The Pacing Priest, who finished strongly from fifth at the bell to go down by only one metre. A neck away in third place was Black Cracker, who trailed the pacemaker throughout. "As soon as he jumped away I was pretty confident," Suvaljko said. "He can roll 30sec. quarters and sprint home pretty well. That was the plan to roll along and make it difficult for the backmarkers. He should win more races." Major Fury, a winner of four races in NSW as a two and three-year-old, has had 16 starts in WA for six wins and three seconds to boost his career earnings to $63,189 from ten wins and five seconds from only 27 starts. His dam The Kindly One (by American stallion Praised Dignity) raced 42 times in NSW for eight wins, 11 placings and $95,562. She has produced six winners, including Art Princess, an earner of $179,364 from 14 wins and 21 placings from 62 starts. The Kindly One's dam, the Queensland-bred Kotare Fury, had 100 starts form 19 wins and 38 placings for stakes of 72,958. EYRE CRUSHER STAKES HIS DERBY CLAIMS Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has a vice-like grip on the $200,000 WA Derby on April 11 with a team of brilliant three-year-olds, including Elegant Christian, Machtu, High Courage, Pelusiac and Classic American. And Eyre Crusher emerged as another realistic prospect for the Hall camp in the group 1 classic when Clint hall drove him to a thrilling fast-finishing victory in the 2130m Milwaukee Nothing But Heavy Duty WA Derby Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "Eyre Crusher will beat any of my three-year-olds, sitting on them, as long as he doesn't work early," Hall sen. said. "When Gary drives him at home he says he feels the closest to Im Themightyquinn. But he's not strong. He's got a lightning burst for about two furlongs, and once he's at the end of that he falls in a heap. He's an opportunist." Pelusiac was all the rage in Friday night's race and was sent out favourite at 5/2 on, with Eyre Crusher second favourite at the gift odds of 15/2 and Bettor Offer, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, at 8/1. Pelusiac lacked sparkle from the No. 2 barrier and raced without cover for the first 500m taking over as pacemaker from 33/1 chance Back On Board. Bettor Offer then was left in the breeze and Eyre Crusher gained the perfect one-out and one-back trail. Colin Brown sent Bettor Offer to the front 140m from the post, but he was overhauled in the final stride by the flying Eyre Crusher, who gained the verdict in the photo by a nose. Both the final 400m sections were covered in 28.1sec. and Eyre Crusher rated 1.56.7. Eyre Crusher won once from two starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand and his record now stands at nine starts for four wins and four seconds for earnings of $39,623. He is the first foal out of Mach Three mare Lucasta Midfrew, who won twice from 30 starts. Lucastra Midfrew's half-sister (by Christian Cullen) Libertybelle Midfrew won the $156,000 Yearling sales final for two-year-old fillies by five lengths at Alexandra Park in April 2013. DELIGHTFUL JADE OVERCOMES A CHECK TO WIN Delightful Jade, who is closely related to former star performer Whitbys Miss Penny, remained unbeaten after two starts when she unwound a spirited finishing burst to win the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. She overcame a check approaching the home turn to get up and beat the pacemaker and 7/4 on favourite Mohito, who dead-heated for second with 20/1 chance Lady Willoughby. Mohito was two lengths clear of her nearest rival with 100m to travel before she wilted and was defeated by Delightful Jade, who trailed her throughout. Tricky Styx, a 6/1 chance driven by Aiden De Campo, raced in last place in the field of six before starting a three-wide move at the 550m mark. She sprinted strongly to get three-quarters of a length in front of Mohito 250m from home. She had not crossed to a clear lead when she broke into a gallop approaching the home turn. "When I got checked when Aiden's horse galloped I didn't think I was going to pick up the leader," said Delightful Jade's driver Matt White. "To her credit she knuckled down and did the job. She has got a great attitude and will only improve. This is the first time I have driven her and I was pretty impressed." Delightful Jade, second favourite at 9/4 and trained at Capel by Andrew De Campo for breeder-owner Melissa Howie, is by Bettors Delight out of Booth Hanover mare Whitbys Solitaire, who raced only nine times for two wins, four placings and $5443. Delightful Jade has earned $18,620 for her two wins from two starts. Whitbys Solitaire is out of Fiscal Miss, a mare who won 15 races and earned $53,854. The first foal out of Fiscal Miss was Whitbys Miss Penny, who was retired after having had 50 starts for 32 wins and six placings for $568,289 in prizemoney. Whitbys Miss Penny won the $80,000 Edgar Tatlow Stakes at Moonee Valley in March 1990 at her third start and her victories in 1991 included the Western Gateway Pace, the Battle of Bunbury, the WA Oaks, the WA Derby, the Caduceus Club Classic, the Sires for three-year-old fillies, the Pink Diamond and the Four-Year-Old Coca Cola Pace. In 1992 she finished second to Impressionist in the Golden Nugget Championship and won the Fremantle Cup, the Mount Eden Sprint, the Bunbury Cup and a prelude of the WA Pacing Cup. RED HOT MAJOR CALLS THE TUNE Red Hot Major, the 11/4 second favourite, made the most of an abominable start by 2/1 favourite Artillery Major by leading all the way in the $21,000 Alltools Western Crown Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Artillery Major galloped badly and lost about 200m and this enabled Kim Young to drive Red Hot Major hard from the No. 4 barrier to cross to the front soon after the start. Red Hot Major was joined in the lead in the first lap by 13/4 third favourite Out Of The Shadow and he looked set for an easy victory when that gelding began to wilt in the final circuit. But debutant Military Master, a 7/1 chance who had trailed Red Hot Major all the way, loomed as a serious threat when he got into the clear approaching the home turn and ran home determinedly. However, Red Hot Major revealed splendid fighting qualities to resist the challenge and go on and win by 1m at a 1.59.6 rate over 1730m. "The other horse (Military Master) went really well and surprised me a bit," said Young. "I was probably driving to beat two of the others (Artillery Major and Out Of The Shadow) and when Military Master came at me I thought we were going to get beaten. Military Master was not the worst horse, but one we didn't know anything about. However, my horse showed good endeavour." Red Hot Major, owned and trained by Gary Elson, has won at his first two starts and has earned $18,035. His dam Red Hot Rita earned $32,564 from 11 wins and 13 placings from 46 starts. Red Hot Rita also produced smart performers Just Live Life (43 starts for ten wins, 16 placings and $60,440) and Im Smouldering, who had 31 starts for 14 wins, 14 placings and $262,475 in prizemoney. Im Smouldering won the group 2 Tatlow Stakes for two-year-old fillies at Melton in May 2012, defeating the brilliant Frith, and the group 1 $100,000 Vicbred Super Series final for three-year-old fillies at Melton last July. NEXT DAWN SHINING FOR CUMMINGS Former Victorian pacer Next Dawn maintained his sound form for his new trainer Graham Cummings when he finished in dashing style to score an easy victory in the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A winner at Northam four starts earlier, Next Dawn was a 14/1 chance from barrier two on the back line, with polemarker I Am Legend (boasting a losing sequence of 17 and unplaced at his previous 12 starts) a well-supported favourite at 5/2, with Absolute Cool, placed once at his previous eight starts, a strong second fancy at 13/4 from barrier four on the front line. Next Dawn, driven for the first time by Robbie Williams, raced in seventh position, three back on the pegs while I Am Legend set the pace with Absolute Cool working hard in the breeze. Williams got Next Dawn off the pegs and into the clear approaching the home turn and the Victorian-bred six-year-old finished strongly to take the lead 90m from the post. He won by one and a half lengths from I Am legend, with two lengths to Im Terrific in third place after that pacer had trailed the pacemaker all the way. Next Dawn, who rated 1.56.3, has won 11 times from 42 starts in Western Australia to take his record to 75 starts for 16 wins, 14 placings and $97,947. By American stallion Dawn Of A New Day, he is the fifth and final foal, and only winner, out of unraced What's Next mare Next Interest. PACIFIC WARRIOR A MAJOR CHANC E IN CLARKE FINAL New Zealand-bred six-year-old Pacific Warrior emerged as the horse to beat in the $25,000 final of the Clarke Pace next Friday night when he gave another powerhouse performance to score a narrow but impressive victory in the third qualifying heat at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Pacific Warrior was a 6/1 chance from barrier five on the front line, with most punters pinning their faith in the polemarker Lovers Delight, who started favourite at 6/4 on. Our Arlington (barrier three) and Menelaus of Sparta (four) were smartest into stride, but neither was able to get to an early lead, with Chris Lewis driving hard to keep Lovers Delight in front with a slick lead time of 36.6sec. Kade Howson did not bustle Pacific Warrior early before he sent the gelding forward to move into the breeze after about 600m. After the first two sections of the final mile in 30.5sec. and 30sec. Howson applied more pressure on the leader and the next two quarters whizzed by in 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. Pacific Warrior got his head in front 400m from home and he and Lovers Delight matched strides down the home straight, with Pacific Warrior prevailing by a half-head, with 5m to Pride of Colorado, who trailed the leader all the way. "Lovers Delight ran the lead time (a brisk 36.6sec.) and we stayed out of that," Howson said. "And from there we just had to keep at him. Lovers Delight had burnt early and was a bit vulnerable. Pacific Warrior just keeps coming. He's a tough, big horse and hopefully he will develop into a Cups prospect." Pacific Warrior, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, has had 30 starts in WA for 16 wins, six seconds and two thirds to take his career record to 57 starts for 20 wins, 15 placings and $176,293 in stakes. SHIRLZ SENSATION LOOKS SET FOR A BRIGHT CAREER Lightly-raced four-year-old Shirlz Sensation has taken his time to develop and is now giving promise of becoming a good winner for Jandabup trainer Mike Beech. Shirlz Sensation started from the outside of the front line at the gift price of 15/2 in the third qualifying heat of the 2130m Community Newspaper Group Westbred Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and gave a most impressive display to score an effortless victory. Atlastalone, favourite at 11/8 from barrier three on the front line, hung out in the score-up and locked sulky wheels with Kissed Flush when the mobile sent the field on its way. Outsider Mako Shadow was smartest into stride, but was unable to wrest the lead from polemarker Atomic Chip (4/1) in a fast lead time of 36.1sec. Ryan Warwick then sent Firebomb to the front after 520m and soon after that Chris Lewis dashed Shirlz Sensation forward to work hard in the breeze. Shirlz Sensation led by a half-length at the bell and remained in that position for the next 500m before forging to a clear lead 300m from home. Shirlz Sensation then careered away from his rivals to cover the final 400m in 28.4sec. and win at a 1.56.7 rate by a margin of 31 metres from Soho Monza, with a head to Firebomb. Shirlz Sensation has had 21 starts for six wins, three placings and stakes of $48,971. COMPACT ROCKET DELAYS THE START AND THEN BEHAVES PERFECTLY West Australian-bred five-year-old Compact Rocket, who has been unreliable at the start in several recent stands, again was fractious behind the tapes and delayed the start of the 2503m Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chris Voak then got Compact Rocket away to a perfect flying start and the gelding burst straight to the front before bowling along in the lead and scoring an easy victory, beating Pacific Playboy by one and a half lengths, with Veitchy flashing home along the pegs to be third. Compact Rocket, a 7/1 chance trained by Ross Olivieri, kept his rivals, particularly 2/1 favourite Trojan Bromac, well at bay in the middle stages when he dashed through the second and third quarters of the final mile in 29.9sec. and 28.2sec. Trojan Bromac, who moved into the breeze with two laps to travel, wilted to finish fifth. Compact Rocket is by American sire Dr Drew and is the only winner out of New Zealand-bred mare Pipe Dreamer, who raced eight times in New Zealand and eight times in Victoria for just one win, at Cranbourne in August 2001. Compact Rocket, bred and owned by Bob Fowler, has been a handy performer who has earned $64,396 from nine wins and nine placings from 55 starts. by Ken Casellas

Champion harness racing trainer Gary Hall Sr strengthened his grip on the 2014 G1 $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby on 11 April after dominating the $40,000 Caduceus Club Classic (2536m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall's pair, Elegant Christian and Machtu, completely dominated the traditional Derby lead-up and sent an ominous warning to their rivals by gapping WA’s best three-year-olds by an ever widening seven lengths. Elegant Christian jumped straight to the front for Clinton Hall to dictated terms, but it wasn’t a walk in the park for the unbeaten three-year-old, as his stablemate Machtu applied the blowtorch a lap out and the pair settled down for an enthralling battle. The son of Christian Cullen and English Elegance held off a gallant Machtu by two and a half metres, with a closing last half of a sizzling 55.3, racing away from the rest of the field. Last season’s two-year-old of the year Mister Jadore was almost 30 metres away in third place. Despite amazingly only winning his first Derby last season with the injury plagued Alta Christiano, this looks to be Hall’s best sophomore crop ever as far as depth is concerned, with the champion mentor appearing to hold all the aces for next month’s Group One Blue Riband event. Elegant Christian should take natural improvement on his first-up effort, while Machtu could not have been more impressive in defeat. “I don’t think there is much between these two” Hall said after the race “They are both pretty special.” Hall also had an impressive three-year-old winner the night before at Northam, with Eye Crusher winning by four lengths in a slick 1.57.2 mile rate for the 2190 metres. In other races on the night at Gloucester Park, Red Salute driven by Chris Voak held off stablemate Sensational Gabby to win the HBF Run For A Reason FFA, while Hokuri Handrail got under the guard of most punters with a returned to winning form in a heat of The Clarke at odds $64.30 with Tabtouch. 

Leading trainer Gary Hall sen., who chalked up his one hundredth winner of the season at Gloucester Park on Friday night, is aiming high with outstanding filly Majorly Foxy Styx and is seriously contemplating starting her in the $200,000 WA Derby before tackling the WA Oaks. Hall is preparing talented three-year-olds Elegant Christian, Machtu, Eyre Crusher, Classic American, High Courage and Pelusiac for the 2536m Derby to be run on April 11 and after Majorly Foxy Styx's effortless victory in the $50,000 Dainty's Daughter Classic on Friday night he said that the filly had the ability to match strides with the colts and geldings in the Derby. "Majorly Foxy Styx is the best filly I've trained, better than La Joconde and Before Night Falls," Hall declared. "She's a super filly, strong and fast and with no weaknesses, apart from a tendency to pull at times in her races. She looks a big chance in the Oaks and I might have a go at the Derby because she seems to be one of those types capable of mixing it with the colts and geldings. I'll now give her a let-up of a couple of weeks." The $175,000 WA Oaks will be run on May 9 and, at the moment, there is not a filly in the State who can seriously challenge her. She is undefeated at six starts as a three-year-old and her win on Friday night stretched her winning sequence to seven and boosted her earnings for owner Rob Watson to $91,030. Majorly Foxy Styx's win was one of four winners on Friday night's program for Hall and his son, star reinsman Gary Hall jun. They were also successful with Rowchester, Whos Mistake and Soho Jackman. The New Zealand-bred Majorly Foxy Styx (by Art Major) was favourite at 3/1 on and Hall jun. jumped her straight to the front from the No. 1 barrier. The filly settled perfectly and Hall was able to get her to relax and amble through the first 400m section of the final mile in 31.6sec. before he increased the tempo with quarters of 30.3sec., 27.9sec. and 28sec. Majorly Foxy Styx careered away from her rivals in the closing stages to stroll to a six-length win over 16/1 chance The Parade, who finished determinedly from eighth at the bell. My Samantha Jane (11/1) finished a half-length away in third place after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail. The winner rated 1.57.5 over the 2130m to break the race record of 1.58.1 set by Gota Good Look Adda a year earlier. Majorly Foxy Styx raced seven times in Victoria as a two-year-old for three second placings before arriving in Western Australia where she has won at seven of her eight starts. She is the second foal out of unraced Christian Cullen mare Foxy Styx. The first foal out of that mare is four-year-old Mach Three gelding Triple Styx, who has had four starts in New Zealand, finishing tenth, ninth, 11th and 13th. Artistic Copper, a 10/1 chance, was most unlucky. She settled behind the pacemaker Majorly Foxy Styx, but the tyre of her off-side sulky wheel was punctured soon after the start. She raced with the flat tyre for before Nathan Turvey was forced to ease her out of the race in the final circuit when the tyre unravelled and became completed disengaged from the rim of the wheel. The stewards imposed a fine of $200 on Ryan Bell, driver of Lipizzaner, for having driven in a careless manner in that he allowed Lipizzaner to contact the off-side wheel of Artistic Copper's sulky. My Samantha Jane finished the event with a flat tyre. The puncture occurred in the back straight in the final lap. Dylan Egerton-Green (Typhoon Tan) was fined $200 for having caused this interference. PACIFIC WARRIOR RESISTS EARLY CHALLENGES BEFORE EASY CUP VICTORY New Zealand-bred six-year-old Pacific Warrior took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park and made a one-act affair of the $25,000 Make Smoking History Governor's Cup on Friday night when Kade Howson drove the gelding to a stylish all-the-way victory. The 3/1 on favourite, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, was beaten for early speed by Copagrin (barrier two), Western Cullen (three) and Lord Lombo (five) and Howson had to drive vigorously to kick up in the inside and take up the running after 250m. Lord Lombo got almost two lengths in front of Pacific Warrior after 100m, but Lord Lombo was kept three wide by Western Cullen and Copagrin, neither of whom was able to cross the polemarker. After the early hectic struggle for ascendancy, with the lead time in a brisk 36.5sec., Pacific Warrior relaxed and coasted through the first quarter of the final mile in 31.9sec., with Western Cullen not applying any serious pressure in the breeze, Mighty Flying Thomas enjoying a perfect run behind the pacemaker and Copagrin in the one-out, one-back position. After a 30.7sec. second section Howson asked Pacific Warrior for a strong effort in the final circuit. The gelding responded grandly with final quarters in 28.5sec. and 27.8sec. He won by one and a half lengths from 15/2 second fancy Mighty Flying Thomas, who was hampered for room throughout the last lap. Uppy Son (25/1) started a three-wide run 1050m from home and fought on splendidly to be a neck away in third place. Western Cullen faded to last and Copagrin did not threaten danger and finished sixth. Pacific Warrior had 27 starts in New Zealand for four wins and seven placings before being purchased by OzWest Pacing, the Northam Alliance Pacing Syndicate, Bruce Greenwood, Greg Richens, Joseph Lawrence, Reegan Buswell and Ian Gillespie. His WA record is an impressive 14 wins and eight placings from 28 starts and his overall record is 55 starts for 18 wins, 15 placings and $149,994. Pacific Warrior's dam Twice As Fine (by New York Motoring) did not race. He is related to Pacific, an American-bred mare, who earned $871,550 when she was a star performer in the United States in the 1980s. ROWCHESTER OVERCOMES HOOF PROBLEMS TO SCORE IN GOOD STYLE Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. is fighting a constant battle to keep New Zealand-bred four-year-old Rowchester fit for racing, but the gelding gave a typical tough performance to win the 2130m Smoke Free Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. "He's had a lot of feet problems and is never going to realise his full potential," Hall said after Rowchester, the well-supported 10/9 on favourite, had raced without cover before outstaying the opposition to win by a half-length from Clifford (3/1), with 5m to 16/1 chance Moonlight Rockhole, who trailed the pacemaker Livelong And Prosper (13/4). Rowchester is suffering from laminitis, a disease which affects a horse's hooves and leads to tenderness and inflammation. "He requires constant treatment and I use plastic pads under the shoes," Hall said. "And I hopple him as little as possible." Rowchester, a winner at three of his five starts in New Zealand, has performed soundly in WA where his 19 starts have produced five wins and seven placings. After an early unsuccessful bid for the lead, from 55/1 outsider Sir Excellent Art from barrier five, the polemarker Livelong And Prosper set the pace, with Rowchester settling down in the breeze for Gary Hall jun. A modest lead time of 38sec. was followed by a leisurely first quarter of the final mile in 31.9sec. Then came sections in 29.5sec. and 28.2sec. before Livelong And Prosper began to wilt and Rowchester got his head in front 370m from home and drew away from his rivals in a 29.6sec. final quarter. He rated 1.58.8. Clifford maintained his excellent form and he did well to finish strongly from fifth at the bell. He will pay to follow. Livelong And Prosper faded to finish seventh in the field of eight. Shannon Suvaljko, who drove Sir Excellent Art, was suspended for 22 days for causing interference to Tuxedo racing out of the back straight soon after the start. The stewards found that Suvaljko had allowed Sir Excellent Art to shift inwards and check Tuxedo. BROWN RESUMES AND CELEBRATES WITH A MEIN GUY VICTORY Ace reinsman Colin Brown resumed from a brief term of suspension with a bang at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he drove with confidence and aggression to guide Mein Guy to a smart win in the 2536m Put Smoking Behind You Pace. Mein Guy, a well-supported 2/1 favourite trained at Banjup by Brown, started from barrier four and Brown set him on fire, charging forward three wide to burst to the front after 650m and then dictate the terms, with Dashing Christian in the breeze. After opening quarters of the final mile in 31.4sec. and 29.9sec. Mein Guy sprinted over the third section in 28.3sec. But this did not put paid to Dashing Christian, who fought on doggedly to finish 1m from the winner after a final quarter in 29.1sec. Mein Guy rated 1.58.6. Veteran Talk It Up ran on from fifth on the pegs at the bell to be a half-head behind Dashing Christian in third place. Mein Guy, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old by Badlands Hanover, raced twice in New Zealand as a two-year-old for a second and an eighth before winning six times from 18 starts in New South Wales. His 38 starts in Western Australia for Kalgoorlie owners Peter and Kirsten Gianni, John Sangalli and Len Burns have produced 12 wins and the gelding now boasts a record of 58 starts for 18 wins, 22 placings and $118,653. LORD COBURN GIVES EGERTON-GREEN ANOTHER WINNER Young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green maintained his wonderful form when he drove former Victorian pacer Lord Coburn to an easy win in the 2503m Quitline Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This gave the 21-year-old his 36th win this season. He also has driven 65 placegetters and is in eighth place in the Statewide reinsmen's premiership table. Lord Coburn's win completed a double for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, who was successful earlier in the night with Deluxe Edition. A brilliant beginning off the front line in the stand paved the way for Lord Coburn's victory. The 6/4 favourite flew away and landed a couple of lengths in front of his nearest rival, North Toa Luckstar. Danieljohn, backmarker off 30m, moved to the breeze in the middle stages, but he was left floundering when Egerton-Green released the brakes and Lord Coburn dashed over the final 400m in 27.8sec. Lord Coburn beat Danieljohn by just over four lengths, with a half-length to North Toa Luckstar in third place. Lord Coburn rated 2.1.3 and moved to a M3 classification. Lord Coburn raced 38 times in Victoria for ten wins and ten placings and his first 14 starts in Western Australia have produced three wins and four placings. Askmenow, second favourite at 9/4, let down her supporters when she galloped at the start and settled down 50m behind the frontrunning Lord Coburn. Askmenow made up a lot of ground and finished a creditable fifth when she was hampered for room in the home straight. Lord Coburn is bred to be a good winner. His dam, the New Zealand-bred Posh Jaccka (by American stallion OK Bye) amassed $331,155 after racing 132 times for 29 wins and 43 placings. She won 19 times in Victoria and was a close second to Tailamade Lombo in the Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley in August 1998. MENELAUS OF SPARTA PROVING TO BE A SPLENDID INVESTMENT West Australian-bred six-year-old Menelaus of Sparta, claimed for $10,000 five months ago, is proving a splendid investment for Jenny Smith and three friends. The Northern Luck gelding took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier at Gloucester Park on Friday night when Kenwick trainer Brett Smith drove him to an all-the-way victory to boost his earnings for his new owners to $49,625 from six wins and three placings from 23 starts. He now has a career record of 84 starts for 18 wins, 20 placings and $127,421. Menelaus of Sparta was a 9/2 chance, with former Victorian pacer Our Arlington a solidly-supported 7/4 favourite at his first start in Western Australia. Balleybofey, winner of the Northam Cup at his previous outing, was second fancy at 2/1. Chocolatto was smartest into stride from barrier four, but was unable to cross to the front, with Smith urging Menelaus of Sparta to retain the lead. Morgan Woodley quickly was able to manoeuvre Chocolatto to take the trail behind the pacemaker, leaving Balleybofey in the breeze. Our Arlington settled at the rear from the outside barrier before Gary Hall jun. started a three-wide move 1200m from home. Our Arlington sustained his effort and clawed his way to a narrow lead 100m from the post. But Menelaus of Sparta fought back tigerish to gain the verdict by a nose after a final 800m in 57.8sec. Balleybofey battled on into third place. Hall jun. said that he was confident of winning approaching the home turn, when he had not pulled the ear plugs. "But he's got a few little problems, like hanging," he said. Trainer Gary Hall sen. added: "Our Arlington wants to get down on the corners and we've got a few things to straighten out." WHOS MISTAKE BRINGS UP HALL'S TRAINING CENTURY Veteran Victorian-bred pacer Whos Mistake gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy win in the 2130m Breathe Easier Claiming Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night to give leading trainer Gary Hall sen. a century of winners in the 2013-14 season. The master horseman is now aiming for another hundred winners in the final six and a half months of the season. Victorian trainer-reinsman Doug Webster made no mistake when he spent a modest sum to claim Whos Mistake when the son of D M Dilinger had a losing sequence of 19 going into a $5000 claimer at Melton in June 2012. Driven by his breeder, part-owner and trainer Willy Pace, Whos Mistake finished solidly to win the race from the pacemaker Break Twenty One. Webster then sent Whos Mistake to Perth to be prepared by Hall sen. But Whos Mistake managed just one placing (a third to Heisbackinblack) from his first seven starts in WA. Hall then gave the gelding a beneficial spell and this has paid handsome dividends. Now the eight-year-old Whose Mistake has raced 36 times in WA for seven wins and 12 placings for earnings of $104,785. He had 86 starts in Victoria for ten wins, 13 placings and $38,725. He is the only winner out of Robil Spur, a mare by American sire Nuke of Earl. Robil Spur managed four country wins from 87 starts. After Soho Jackman won the final event on Friday night Hall's season's figures stood at 405 starters for 101 winners, 64 seconds and 47 thirds for $1,501,796 in prizemoney. EDWARDS STEALS A MARCH AND MYOURI ENDS LOSING SEQUENCE OF 28 New Zealand-bred eight-year-old Myouri broke an 11-month drought and ended a losing sequence of 28 when Luke Edwards drove the Debbie Padberg-trained gelding to a decisive victory in the 1730m Quit Pathway Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Edwards stole a march on his rivals when he was able to get Myouri away to a flying start from the No. 2 barrier and burst past the polemarker Sir Kale. Classy Cougar and Barkers Hall surged forward, out wide, in the early stages, but Edwards kept his challengers at bay with a fast opening quarter of the final mile in 28.7sec. before he got the gelding to relax with a second 400m section in 31.3sec. Myouri (well supported to start at 7/2) then produced two rapid final quarters of 28.8sec. to score at a 1.57.1 rate by just under a length from Sir Kale, with a neck to Im Clean Cut, who ran home well after racing three back on the pegs. Conniving Major Dave, the 9/4 favourite from the outside of the back line, finished gamely from the rear in the middle stages to be fourth. Myouri, whose previous success was when he led and held on to beat stablemate What God Knows by a nose early last March, has been an honest performer, with his 93 starts producing nine wins, 28 placings and $85,207. He won twice from 23 New Zealand starts, was unplaced at two stars in New South Wales and won at three of his 12 starts in Victoria. He has had 55 starts in WA for four wins and 18 placings. His maternal granddam Aberfeldy produced Reba Lord, who earned $342,070 from 17 wins and 14 placings from 59 starts. Reba Lord finished third to Sovereign Cloud and Thorate in the 1990 Victoria Cup and won an interdominion championship consolation at Globe Derby Park in February 1990. PACEMAKING SOHO JACKMAN FOLLOWS THE TREND Smart four-year-old Soho Jackman simply was following suit at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and won the final event, the 2130m Thank You For Not Smoking Westbred Pathway Pace. This was the pattern of racing in the ten-event program when nine races were won by the horse setting the pace. He started from the prized No. 1 barrier on a night when the No. 1 horse in the nine mobile events recorded five wins, two seconds and one third. The only No. 1 horse to fail to fail after leading was Livelong And Prosper, who faded to finish seventh in the 2130m Smoke Free Pace. Soho Jackman, favourite at 5/1 on for trainer Gary Hall sen. and reinsman Gary Hall jun., was not challenged (apart from a short-lived early burst from Atomic Chip) at any stage of the race. He crawled through the lead time in 39.9sec. and the opening quarters of the final mile in 32.6sec. and 31.1sec. before sprinting over the final sections in 29.2sec. and 28.2sec. His rate was a pedestrian 2.1.6. Soho Jackman strolled to victory over Eminence Grise and Atomic Chip to improve his record to 14 starts for six wins, four placings and $36,458. He was sold for $15,000 at the 2011 Gloucester Standardbred Yearling sale and is owned by Glen Moore. His dam Jane Elouise (by American sire Beach Towel) won the group 3 Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies in February 2006 and was retired after earning $44,926 from four wins and three placings from 14 starts. DELUXE EDITION EARNS A SHOT AT THE EMPRESS STAKES Promising young mare Deluxe Edition earned a shot at the $50,000 Empress Stakes on Friday week when she outclassed her rivals in the 2130m Mick's Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The WA-bred four-year-old started a hot favourite at 5/1 on and gave her supporters no cause for concern after Chris Voak dashed her to the front from the No. 3 barrier after 220m. She sprinted over the final 800m in 57.1sec. and strolled to victory by three lengths over polemarker Mene Jackka, who trailed her throughout. Deluxe Edition, prepared by Ross Olivieri, rated 1.57.7 and boosted her earnings for her breeders and owners Denise Trobe and Adrian Staltari to $99,877 from nine wins and 15 placings from 34 starts. by Ken Casellas  

17 to 32 of 58