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Country racing in Western Australia this weekend kicked off in the Avon Valley, with Northam hosting an eight-race card on Friday night. With COVID restriction still in full swing, the club unfortunately had to close its doors to patrons, but there was plenty of action on the track throughout the night, with all eight races going to eight different trainers. Hes A Charmer made it two in a row for owner and trainer Chienoa Foster in the first. With two scratchings, the small six horse field saw the four-year-old gelding firm into favouritism and after working to the lead early, Hes A Charmer managed to kick away for a 10m victory for driver Mark Reed. After a lengthy delay in the second due to a fall in their first attempt, race two got under way over an hour past the original start time advertised, with the $34 shot Girlfromdandalup coming from behind to win narrowly by a neck for Kellerberrin trainer Tom Groves and driver Shane Butterworth. With three late scratchings before after the first attempt, all horses were reported as fine, however trainer/driver Garry Sayers was conscious after his fall but was taken to the local hospital. Ross Olivieri and Chris Playle teamed up in race three with the favourite Celebrity Chef getting the job done after working her way to the lead early in the piece from barrier four. Starting first up for the stable since entering WA, the Olivieri trained pacer had not raced since July last year. Dylan Egerton-Green may have been at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but his runner Smooth Rye was in Hayden Hancock’s capable hands, with the four-year-old mare saluting in the fourth. The Allwood Stud owned runner recording her first win since August, in a mile rate of 1:57:1 over the sprint journey. “I expected Aldo’s horse to be a bit too good, but she has been racing well with bad barriers and not much luck. I Knew that I would be a strong chance of not eating this week if I didn’t perform driving first up for Dylan,” Hancock joked. Secret Operation has been impressive at his last two starts, but it was no surprise that the Aldo Cortopassi trained and driven runner started as the short-priced favourite when he drew barrier one on Friday night in race five. Having just his third start for the new stable, the four-year-old sat behind the leader, managing to win by 5.5m in 1:59:1 and a last half of 56.7 seconds over the 2190m. After a five-hour road trip from Albany, The Nathan Dymock trained Just A Smile turned the stables luck around after the stable mate Summer Moon was a late scratching earlier in the night after falling. Just A Smile started off the front line in the stand and was able to lead all the way, staving off rivals by 8.2m in race six. With Donald Harper in the cart, the $9.50 starter broke his maiden status at his 28th start. Hayden Hancock walked away with a driving double, with Farriers Trouble making it two in a row in just five days. The Brent Scott trained four-year-old notched up his second career victory at just his third start at impressive odds; $16, adding some value to the last leg of the quaddie. “He (Farriers Trouble) went really good. Brent said that he is lazy in trackwork and can’t keep up so I’d say that’s a sign that there should be a fair bit of improvement in him. He is really green and learning what racing is about but winning when he has no idea what he is doing is a good sign.” Hancock said. Star Like became the latest maiden graduate when the double west bred four-year-old took out the last race for trainer Sarah Suvaljko and driver Trent Wheeler. Racing will be back in the Avon on Saturday the 29th of May. Ashleigh Paikos

Aiden De Campo stole the show at Bunbury on Saturday night with a race trifecta in the $10,000 De Campo Memorial 2YO Fillies feature, with his runner Artistic Scribe taking top prize. With three runners in the race, De Campo piloted the winner, owned by Mike Howie for her second career victory at just her fourth race start. His other runners Nowuseemerunnin driven by Dylan Egerton-Green and Sport Sport Sport driven by Mark Johnson took up the other podium positions, with both fillies having their first starts in the race. “It’s a really special race for me to win and to trifecta it means a lot as it was my first trifecta as well.” “It’s probably the race I most look forward to and want to win the most every season, I was able to do it once before but again last night, being able to train and drive the winner made it more special.” “I always wonder if grandad would be proud of me looking down, so to win a race in his honour means more to me than any group one could.” De Campo said. Captains Beachbabe was too strong in race one for Terry Ferguson and Emily Suvaljko with the three-year-old filly initially going back at release point, she then worked her way to the breeze after only a few hundred metres from barrier seven, managing to stave off fast finishing rivals by 1.3m, with a last half of 56.4 and a mile rate of 1:56:7. “She (Captains Beachbabe) travelled really good in the run. I was confident she would run a good race especially after Justin’s horse was scratched. She went really good on Tuesday without knocking her about too much.” Suvaljko said. Arocknbilly Rebel has been knocking on the door for his maiden win and after being the runner up five times in his nine race starts, the five-year-old got his win last night at start number ten for his breeder, owner and trainer John Guagliardo and driver Mark Reed. The $1.70 favourite started from barrier ten and Sunshine Swift led all the way from barrier one for Coolup based Vic Bryers and reinsman Chris Lewis in race three, recording her first win at just start seven since entering Bryers stable, defeating her closest rival by 9.4m in a mile rate of 1:59:5 over the 2100m trip. It wasn’t quite the Group One Derby success Prentice had the night before, but Bettor Get On It NZ kicked off the first leg of the quaddie with the short-priced favourite starting from the widest barrier on the back line to win stylishly in the fourth by 9.9m, in 1:57:9 steered by Gary Hall Jnr. Michael Grantham walked away with a driving double on the night, with the first instalment Miss Boudica making it two in a row for the Michael Brennan stable in race five. The well performed three-year-old led all the way from gate one defeating The Embezzler by two metres in a time of 1:58:5 over the 2569m staying journey. After a last start metropolitan placing, Medieval Man continued the successful weekend for trainer Michael Young with his win in the sixth, giving connections his second win in just three starts. Working his way to the lead early from the 30m handicap, the $2.00 favourite was able to get away with a slow first section, winning by a margin of 3.8m in 2:02:8 and a last half of 55.9. Young had city success on Friday night with his runner Vespa NZ getting his first metro win since entering WA earlier this year. The second leg of Grantham’s driving double came up in race eight, the De Campo Memorial 2YO Colts and Gelding feature when he paired up with Ryan Bell and his runner Whataretheodds. The two-year-old was having just his fifth race start, managing to get his second career victory in a time of 1:55:5 and a last half of 55.4, taking his earnings to just over $30,000, with the youngster looking to have a promising future ahead of him. The last went the way of the locals with Gingers Jet winning narrowly in the ninth for Bunbury trainer Vanessa Brockman and driver Bailey McDonough. After surrendering the lead, McDonough made full use of the sprint lane to win narrowly by a half head with the $5.50 starter being the longest priced winner on the night.   Ashleigh Paikos for RWWA

Bushwacked leaves Quadrio in awe “For a young horse to cop that pressure and keep going, I’m over the moon,” declared a delighted breeder-owner-trainer Shane Quadrio after Bushwacked set the pace and fought on grandly to win the $50,000 group 2 Champagne Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Bushwacked, third favourite at $6.40 from the No. 1 barrier, survived considerable pressure from $7.50 chance Battlescard, who overraced in the breeze, and went on to defy a powerful late challenge from $4.80 second fancy Whataretheodds to defeat that gelding by a head at a 1.57.2 rate over 2130m. Bushwacked, driven with great confidence by Kyle Harper, emerged as a leading contender for the upcoming rich classics for two-year-olds, including the $100,000 Pearl Classic, the $100,000 Westbred Classic and the $125,000 Golden Slipper. “He will be set for those events, but I won’t be overracing him because he’s not mentally ready or physically mature enough to race week-in and week-out,” said Quadrio. “His body needs to mature a bit and we will assess his options as we go along. I’m happy with the way he is going at the moment. He will mature into a better horse when he gets older. “It was a sensational run tonight after his work during the week was sensational. I know that at his previous start (when he led and won over 1730m) he got away with easy sectionals, and my son Dylan and I gave him a hard workout the day after that event because he did nothing in that win. “We were very confident going into tonight’s race after the way Bushwacked worked during the week when Dylan drove Bushwacked and I sat behind him with an older horse, and I couldn’t get anywhere near Bushwacked.” The Ryan Bell-trained Whataretheodds gave a splendid performance at his first appearance for two months. He was seventh in the one-wide line at the bell before sustaining a spirited three-wide burst to fail by just a head. Tomlous Jambo, trained and driven by Justin Prentice, enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing solidly to be a close third. Rock On Top, favourite at $3.20 from out wide at barrier No. 7, raced at the rear and did not threaten danger, finishing in sixth position. Meanwhile, Quadrio’s brilliant three-year-old filly Black Jack Baby is enjoying a brief spell after her shock failure when leading before fading to tenth behind Benesari Lane in the WA Oaks on April 9. “The day after the Oaks I sent Black Jack Baby to Trevor Lindsay’s spelling paddock, and he telephoned me the next day to tell me that she was as lame as a cat,” Quadrio said. “She had a bad abscess in the rear offside hoof, and it was no wonder she couldn’t run on at the end of the Oaks because she was in such pain. I’m not using that as an excuse but would have been a factor in her performance.”     Jumpingjackmac’s last-to-first victory Brilliant three-year-old Jumpingjackmac warmed up for his clash with outstanding colt Lavra Joe in next Friday night’s $200,000 Sky Channel WA Derby in fine style with a most impressive last-to-first victory in the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His win over Otis and Seeryanfly left trainer Gary Hall snr and reinsman Gary Hall jnr looking forward keenly to the prestigious group 1 feature. Hall jnr did not bustle Jumpingjackmac at the start from the outside barrier (No. 9), but he admitted that he was somewhat concerned when he was in last position in the middle stages in the field of eleven. “I was a bit worried when he was that far back and I thought he was going to have to be good to win,” said Hall jnr. “I know that a lot of people thought he would just win --- but it is hard when you are that far back, and he was having just his eighth start.” Hall sent Jumpingjackmac forward, three wide, with 1200m to travel and the gelding moved to the breeze outside the pacemaker Squinta with 600m to travel before forging to the front 300m later and coasting to victory by 2m from the strong-finishing Otis, with Seeryanfly running home solidly to be an excellent third. Jumpingjackmac rated 1.55.9 after the three final quarters were run in 28.6sec., 28sec. and 29.1sec. “He raced to the breeze pretty comfortably and I sat up on him in the home straight,” said Hall. “He is a horse you really have to drive out if you want him to completely run through the line. I think he had a little gear left on the line, which was good. I don’t think that we could be more ready for next week’s meeting with Lavra Joe. “Id like Jumpingjackmac to have had 15 more runs under his belt. But he’s ready, and all we need is a (good) draw. I don’t think we can beat Lavra Joe if he draws inside of us, and I’d say that we would be hard to beat if we drew inside of him.” Hall snr was in a buoyant mood after Jumpingjackmac’s victory, saying: “The extra distance (2536m) of the Derby won’t worry him. He did just what he had to tonight and he will be sharper next Friday night because we didn’t hopple him this week. “The draw is the most important thing. If Lavra Joe draws to lead, we can’t beat him. But if we draw to lead, Lavra Joe can’t beat us. Probably it would be better if neither horse draws to lead --- and then it will become a battle of tactics. However, I wouldn’t swap my driver or my horse with anything.” Lavra Joe continued his winning ways with an extremely comfortable victory in the $30,000 Country Derby at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park on Saturday night. Chris Lewis sent Lavra Joe straight to the front from the No. 4 barrier and the powerful colt paced faultlessly in front before coasting to a win by two and a half lengths over Strike Team, who fought on doggedly after trailing the leader all the way. Lavra Joe sprinted over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 26.9sec. and rated 1.56.8.   Swimming enlivens Lightning Jolt Eight-year-old Lightning Jolt, whose career was in considerable jeopardy six years ago, is enjoying a major change to his training program and he maintained his purple patch of form with a fighting victory in the 2130m TABtouch Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Byford trainer John Oldroyd explained the WA-bred gelding’s excellent form of six starts for two wins, two seconds and two thirds in his current preparation by saying he is thriving on a diet of swimming. “I’ve changed his work around a lot this time in,” said Oldroyd. “He’s an eight-year-old and I know it sounds crazy that it has taken me such a long time to work things out. I have started swimming him in the pool at the Byford track and have backed his fast work right off. “He was a very good horse as a baby and was one of the State’s best two-year-olds. But he has had chronic leg problems and didn’t race for 16 months at one stage. He did a tendon and was given only a 30 per cent chance to stand up and race again. So, I sent him to Debbie Lewis for ten months, and she did a terrific job with him, putting him on the walker and treating his leg every day. And at his first run after 16 months, he was just beaten by Walkinshaw (in October 2017). “He is a funny sort of horse and the not the nicest to jog in the cart. He has never been easy to get on with, but for the past six months he’s been a lot easier to get on with at home, a lot more placid. Before, he would kick and bite you.” Lightning Jolt has done a wonderful job to have had 101 starts for 16 wins, 32 placings and $183,335 in prizemoney. By Canadian sire Village Jolt, Lightning Jolt is one of only two foals out of Barnett Hanover mare Sandys Success. The first foal, Mynameskenny, a full-brother to Lightning Jolt, was an excellent performer for Oldroyd, earning $199,195 from 21 wins and six placings from 43 starts. Mynameskenny’s most important win was in the Diggers Cup at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park on April 23, 2016. It was indeed a memorable moment on Friday night with Lightning Jolt winning on April 23, 2021. Lightning Jolt was a $3.80 chance from barrier five in Friday night’s event in which Ryan Warwick gave him a perfect trip in the one-out and one-back position before the oldtimer got to the front about 470m from home and fought on determinedly to win by a half-length from another veteran pacer Major Stare, who finished strongly from last at the bell.   Heavens Showgirl storms home Victorian-bred pacer Heavens Showgirl gave further proof that she will develop into one of Western Australia’s best mares when she charged home from seventh with 550m to travel to burst to the front 330m later on her way to an impressive victory over Blissfullabbey in the 2130m Channel 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This was the five-year-old’s fourth win from five WA starts and improved her record to 28 starts for ten wins, ten placings and stakes of $73,547. Trained by Nathan Turvey, Heavens Showgirl was the second favourite at $3.30. Emily Suvaljko urged her forward from the No. 5 barrier and she raced without cover early before gaining the ideal sit, one-out and one-back, after $91 outsider Talkerup dashed forward to race in the breeze outside the pacemaker and $2.75 favourite Suing You. Heavens Showgirl was hampered and lost about a length in the back straight when Talkerup began to weaken and drop back. However, Suvaljko did not panic and, after the third quarter of the final mile whizzed by in 27.8sec., Heavens Showgirl sprinted home smartly with a final 400m in 28.4sec. and she rated 1.55.3.   My Carbon Copy does it easily Talented New Zealand-bred five-year-old My Carbon Copy enjoyed a drop in class when he ended a losing sequence of ten with a comfortable all-the-way victory in the 2130m Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The $1.20 favourite from the No. 2 barrier dawdled through the lead time in 39.5sec. and the opening quarters of the final mile in 32.1sec. and 29.8sec. before final 400m sections of 29.4sec. and 28.1sec. The American Ideal gelding, trained by Gary Hall snr and driven by Gary Hall jnr, defeated Mister Ardee ($8) by just under a length to improve his record to 38 starts for 11 wins and 15 placings for earnings of $129,909. The win completed a treble for the father-and-son combination which had been successful earlier in the night with Jumpingjackmac and Whozideawasthis. My Carbon Copy is a full-brother to former star pacer My Hard Copy, who raced 89 times for 27 wins, 23 placings and stakes of $1,271,592. His victories included the WA Pacing Cup in 2015 and 2016 and the 2018 Fremantle Cup in which he defeated Lazarus and Chicago Bull.   Brown seizes the initiative When the $1.50 favourite Classic Choice galloped at the start from the No. 2 barrier in the Garrard’s Horse And Hound Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night talented driver Maddison Brown seized the initiative by urging $14.40 chance Back In Twenty to the front from barrier three. Back In Twenty, trained by Justin Prentice, relished the pacemaking role and romped top a three-length victory over Our Surrogate ($9.50), with Whoswhointhezoo ($14) another two lengths away in third place. “He is a hard horse to get over when he’s in front,” said Prentice. “He can run good sectionals and make it hard for anything in the field. His last three starts have been really good, and his fourth behind Hampton Banner at his previous start was close to his career best, the way he sprinted home which hasn’t always been his caper.” Back In Twenty, bred and owned by Bob Fowler’s Allwood Stud Farm, has now earned $90,190 from ten wins and 13 placings from 55 starts. By Sportswriter, Back In Twenty is out of the Northern Luck mare Aristocratic Glow, who had 44 starts for nine wins, 13 placings and $74,756. Aristocratic Star is a half-sister to former star mare Amongst Royalty, who amassed $570,820 from her 23 wins and 27 placings from 86 starts. He is also closely related to former star pacer Mon Poppy Day, who had 50 starts for 20 wins, 16 placings and $318,558.   Lawrence gets up in the final stride Dependable New Zealand-bred six-year-old Lawrence continued his outstanding form in Western Australia for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond when he was favourite at $2.20 and had to be driven desperately by Ryan Warwick to get up and snatch a last-stride victory by a half-head from Medieval Man in the 2096m Choices Flooring Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A winner at five of his 28 New Zealand starts, Lawrence, a son of Shadow Play, has now raced nine times in WA for six wins and three seconds. He started from the 10m line and Warwick had him travelling in sixth position in the one-wide line before bringing him home with a determined three-wide burst to score narrowly. Medieval Man, trained by Michael Young and driven by Emily Suvaljko, was gallant in defeat. With $41 outsider Sarge setting the pace, Medieval Man raced without cover before he took the lead 450m from home. Then, 230m later Gary Hall jnr sent Nota Bene Denario to the front before Medieval Man fought back grimly to regain the lead in the home straight.   Jack Farthing is learning WA style Former New South Wales prolific winner Jack Farthing justified hot favouritism at $1.50 with an effortless victory in the 2130m Mondo Doro Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His win for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice, Capel reinsman Aiden de Campo and owners Kevin Jeavons and his son Kyle came at his second appearance after a four-month absence and at his seventh start in Western Australia. Jack Farthing had the luxury of a slow lead time (38.3sec.) and opening quarter (30.8sec.) before giving his rivals little chance with final 400m sections of 28.6sec., 27.5sec. and 28.2sec. He scored by three lengths from $34 chance Extradite, who began speedily from the No. 7 barrier and hit the front from polemarker Jack Farthing after 120m before Corey Peterson was happy to relinquish the lead to Jack Farthing 200m later and give Extradite the perfect sit behind the favourite. Six-year-old Culpeka, a winner at his previous six starts and resuming racing after an absence of just under 15 months, was second fancy at $3.80 from the outside barrier in the field of eight. He raced at the rear before Gary Hall jnr sent him forward, three wide, 650m rom home. But his run was short-lived and he finished a well-beaten seventh. Jack Farthing improved considerably on his first-up eighth behind Galactic Star two weeks earlier when Prentice said that interference in the back straight in the final lap when Mighty Conqueror broke into a gallop cost him dearly. “Aiden said that Jack Farthing was travelling well in the one-out, two-back position, and when he was checked he lost all his momentum and didn’t chase again,” Prentice explained. “Maybe he lost his balance and was unable to regain his rhythm. His trial win at Pinjarra before that run was super, and his work since that hiccup has been very good. There is a mile race for him in a fortnight and another (Members Sprint) the following week. “We are trying to teach him our style of racing, and he seems to have settled a lot better after a full preparation. Hopefully, he will learn and settle into our style of training and the different style of racing here.”   Whozideawasthis equals Kiwi Dillon’s record Veteran pacer Whozideawasthis became only the second pacer in the 60-year history of the Memorial Day Stakes to win the feature event twice when he revealed sparkling gate speed from the outside barrier in the field of six to set a brisk pace and score a stylish victory in the $25,000 feature event over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The only other dual winner of the Memorial Day Stakes was Kiwi Dillon, who was successful in 1962 and 1963 for trainer Bill Johnson and his reinsman son Max. Whozideawasthis, a New Zealand-bred ten-year-old, won this event in 2018 and finished second to The Bucket List in 2019. He charged home from last to win by a half-head from Lord Rosco over 2130m last Friday week, but was neglected by punters on Friday night and was a $25.40 tote outsider. Vultan Tin was generally expected to set the pace and win from the No. 1 barrier on Friday night and was a hot favourite at $1.07. However, Vultan Tin was unable to hold out the flying Whozideawasthis, who sped to the front after 50m. Trainer Gary Hall snr said that Whozideawasthis could not have won if he had been restrained at the start, and he praised the initiative shown by his son, Gary. “I was very pleased to get Whozideawasthis from Albert Pizzuto a few years ago and he has done a huge job here,” said Hall snr. Whozideawasthis now has earned $307,029 from 27 wins and 18 placings from 108 starts. Vultan Tin settled down trailing Whozideawasthis before Emily Suvaljko eased him off the pegs and into the breeze with two laps to travel when Chris Voak was urging Im Full Of Excuses forward. Im Full Of Excuses then gained a perfect sit in the one-out, one-back position, but he wilted to finish sixth. Vultan Tin battled on manfully into third place, just over a length behind the winner.   Hampton Banner overcomes three operations Inexperienced four-year-old Hampton Banner has overcome a fractured hind leg and three operations to develop into one of the State’s most promising young pacers. The Bettors Delight gelding, trained by Debra Lewis, has returned to racing after an eleven-month absence in fine style, and he completed a winning hat-trick when Chris Lewis drove him to an impressive victory in the 2130m Vili’s Family Bakery Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hampton Banner raced ten times in New Zealand for three wins and a second placing before he was purchased by a syndicate of West Australian owners, including Mark Lewis, the son of Chris and Debra Lewis. The strongly-built gelding made his WA debut in March 2020 when second to Harley Zest before finishing sixth behind Patronus Star in the WA Derby the following month. It was then discovered that he had a fractured hind leg. “When we bought him in New Zealand we were told that he had soft bones,” said Mark Lewis. “And after two runs here we could see that he wasn’t right. “An MRI examination revealed that he had a stress fracture in his nearside fetlock, and he underwent surgery when a screw was inserted. He had another operation to remove the screw, and a third surgery when suffering an infection in the joint.” Hampton Banner, the fourth foal out of the Christian Cullen mare Surf And Sand (11 starts for one win, one placings and $7160), is still relatively inexperienced with a record of 16 starts for six wins, two placings and stakes of $61,853. His owners are optimistic about his prospects of developing into a top-flight pacer and are hoping he will maintain his rate of improvement and be a candidate for the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup next summer. “He will probably go for a break soon, and hopefully he’ll be good enough to come back for the summer racing,” said Mark Lewis. On Friday night, Hampton Banner, the $1.90 favourite, began speedily from the No. 6 barrier and gave a bold frontrunning display to win by 4m from Bettor Finish, rating 1.57.4 after final 400m sections of 28.7sec. and 27.8sec.         Ken Casellas

The consistent Lawrence and the promising Hampton Banner are two horses earmarked by members of the WA Trotting Media Guild as star bets at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Longshot guru Pat Harding and TABradio’s Hayden King have made Lawrence their best bet on the 10-event card, which features the running of the Group 2 $50,000 2YO Champagne Classic (2130m). “After a pretty good night last Friday, there looks like a few more odds-on favourites this week,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race eight with No. 8 Lawrence. This Greg and Skye Bond-trained horse has been so consistent and should continue on his winning ways. He is ideally placed one out on the 10 metre line and should run home well.” And King agrees. “Lawrence won a shade cosily last start,” King said. “He still looks progressive and this race could develop in his favour. I think he is classy and will be winning better races.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and that newspaper’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft are keen on Hampton Banner in the last race. “Classy import Hampton Banner looks set to complete a winning hat-trick after front-running victories at Gloucester Park in his last two appearances,” Manning said. “The gelding arrived in Perth with a classic mission last year after three New Zealand wins. He finished sixth in the 2020 WA Derby at his second Gloucester Park start. Returning last  month after a lengthy spell, he ran a first-up fourth ahead of the two wins. He looks a carnival cups prospect.” Havercroft is thinking along the same lines as his colleague. “Hampton Banner produced another dominant display last week when leading all-the-way in 1:55.2 over the sprint trip and the lightly-raced four-year-old looks hard to beat again,” Havercroft said. “He appears to have the ability to overcome a wide draw and bring up a hat-trick of wins on Friday night.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart has made Vultan Tin his best for the night. “I fancy Vultan Tin’s chances on Friday night,” Wishart said. “He won the Pinjarra Cup from this draw and his recent efforts have been solid. I think he looks a really good chance in this race.” Award-winning journalist Ken Casellas believes punters can prosper by supporting Classic Choice in race two. “Four-year-old Classic Choice is a versatile gelding with a winning percentage of 40, and he should make a bold bid for victory in the 2130m Garrards Horse & Hound Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he starts from a favourable barrier at No. 2 on the front line,” Casellas said. “He sustained a spirited three-wide burst from ninth at the bell when fifth behind Boom Time a fortnight ago, and he is my best bet this week to notch his ninth win from only 21 starts.” Media Guild president Wayne Currall has made My Carbon Copy his best for the evening. “You don’t need to be Einstein to realise My Carbon Copy is poised to record his first win this preparation,” Currall said. “From gate two, Gary Hall Jr should be able to take up the running with this guy and from there it should be all over. Will be deep in the red but together with Jumpingjackmac and Vultan Tin, will act as a reliable banker for all-ups.” VALUE BETS PAT: My value bet comes in race 10 with No. 1 Machlani. He has been knocking on the door and is due for a win. HAYDEN: Going to return to my trusty all-up. Lightning Jolt is a model of consistency in the third for the place; Our Sequel is nearing a win (not Friday) and going better than numerically suggested also to place; Lawrence in the eighth to win. ERNIE: Barrier one gives Blissfullabbey a solid chance after Pinjarra fourths from gate six at her first two starts of a campaign. She showed plenty of ability when winning twice and running three places at five consecutive starts in her previous preparation. RYAN: Lightning Jolt is racing well since returning from a spell. I think he represents value at a suggested price of $6.50 after winning last time out. WARREN: Beach Start was beaten by a star last start, but his first-up win was full of merit. At double-figure odds from the good draw can give a sight. KEN: For value, I suggest veteran performer Extreme Prince, who, from the No. 2 barrier should either lead or race in a prominent position throughout in the TABtouch Pace. He has been placed at his past five starts, including an encouraging second to Diego over 2536m last Friday night. WAYNE: Bettor My Dreams is an interesting runner in the stand. He’s owned by Merv Butterworth and trained by Ross Olivieri – a combination that has produced many winners. Jumped out well in a Byford stand trial recently and could be a good play at each-way odds. Click here to view all of the Media Guild tips for this week. Good punting.   Wayne Currall

Byford owner-trainer Shane Quadrio’s smart colt Bushwacked has drawn ideally at barrier No. 1 in the $50,000 Champagne Classic for two-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and reinsman Kyle Harper plans to set the pace and improve on his winning performance last Friday week. There were only four starters in that 1730m event in which Harper allowed Bushwacked to dawdle through the opening quarters of the final mile in 34sec. and 33.8sec. before final 400m sections of 29.9sec. and a sparkling 27.2sec. on his way to an easy victory over Five Bangles and Battlescard at a slow 2.4.6 rate. “I don’t think we’ll be able to get away with going so slowly this week,” said Harper. “I went a bit overboard and was able to get away with a ridiculously slow half and then only run one quarter (the last). “Four-horse fields are very tricky to drive in, and though we don’t want to be rating too quickly early this week, we will certainly be rating a lot more genuinely than we did last time out. “I think we can lead again, and he should have improved since his last run. He has gone 56sec. (for the final 800m) on multiple occasions, and if he can rate 1.56 out in front, I think he can win this week. The question mark for all the runners is stepping up from 1730m to 2130m. This will be a big test for a few of them, but I don’t think it will worry Bushwacked too much.”    Gary Hall jnr, who drove Battlescard into third place behind Bushwacked a fortnight ago, said he was confident the Gary Elson-trained gelding was capable of turning the tables and winning this week’s group 2 classic. “This will be a differently run race in which I will be happy to hold the breeze and try to control the race from there. Battlescard is pretty tough.” Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo has a good opinion of Rock On Top, who looms as the youngster who should prove hard to beat despite starting out wide at barrier No. 7. Rock On Top has won at three of his four appearances. He possesses excellent gate speed and also is capable of unwinding a powerful finish. Chris Voak will drive Ross Olivieri’s talented colt Griffin Lodge and is disappointed that he has drawn the outside barrier (No. 9). “Griffin Lodge worked exceptionally well this morning (Tuesday), but we will need a lot of luck from the outside draw,” he said. “However, he’s got the ability to win. We’ve got to sit off them and come with one run.” Baskerville trainer Ryan Bell is suffering from a torn ligament in a wrist and will be unable to drive his promising gelding Whataretheodds, who will start from barrier five. Bell has engaged Michael Grantham to handle Whataretheodds, who will be having his first start for two months. “He was meant to resume racing in the Gold Bullion heats a couple of weeks ago, but he was suffering from a bit of colic and had to scratch him,” explained Bell. “He missed only two days work and went all right in a trial on Sunday when he went around without the blinkers. “He’s a lot better with the blinkers on; he needs to be forced to concentrate. He doesn’t feel like much of a horse, but as soon as you show him the shillelagh or touch him with it, he drops into another gear. He is very lazy in trackwork but seems to switch on on race nights.”   Ken Casellas

“It’s always hard from nine, but Jumpingjackmac is jumping out of his skin and should be capable of overcoming the outside (No. 9) barrier and winning,” said champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. Jumpingjackmac, trained by Gary Hall Snr, will clash with some smart three-year-olds in the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.   This will be Jumpingjackmac’s final race before his much-anticipated clash with star colt Lavra Joe in the $200,000 Sky Channel WA Derby on Friday week. Lavra Joe will also wind up his preparation for the WA Derby when he contests the $30,000 Country Derby at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park on Saturday night. The Ray Jones-trained colt to be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier No. 4 should prove too strong for his seven rivals who include Aiden de Campo’s promising Mach Three gelding Strike Team. Hall jnr said he had not decided on his tactics with Jumpingjackmac on Friday night, saying: “I’ll probably decide after we get under way.” Hall did not bustle Jumpingjackmac early from the No. 7 barrier last Friday night. The gelding settled in sixth position before Hall urged him forward, three wide, to burst to the front 650m after the start. Jumpingjackmac then relaxed in front before dashing over the final quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.4sec. and winning by just over seven lengths from Sugar Street, rating 1.55.7 over 2130m. Otis, Dominus Factum and Aussie Scooter should be prominent and earn their place in the WA Derby field. Hall jnr is also looking forward to driving five-year-old My Carbon Copy, who is favourably drawn at barrier two in the Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace over 2130m. “He should win and I expect him to be my best drive of the night,” Hall said. “He started from the outside of the back line and made up a lot of ground, coming from tenth at the bell to be fifth behind Diego last Friday night.” Hall has chosen to handle Nota Bene Denario in preference to Medieval Man in the Choices Flooring Handicap, a stand over 2096m. Nota Bene Denario, trained by Gary Hall Snr, will start from the inside of the 10m line, and the Michael Young-trained Medieval Man will start from the outside of the six-horse front line, with Emily Suvaljko in the sulky. Hall drove Medieval Man when he set the pace and dashed over the final quarters in 27.8sec. and 27.9sec. and easily defeated Louie The Horse in a 2116m stand at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. He drove Nota Bene Denario two starts ago when the former New Zealand performer made an auspicious Australian debut, setting the pace and winning a 2503m stand in easy fashion at Gloucester Park.   Ken Casellas

Evergreen pacer Vultan Tin should make it a case of third time lucky when he contests the $25,000 Memorial Day Stakes over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.  The Phil Costello-trained nine-year-old has drawn perfectly at barrier one, and Emily Suvaljko will be keen to set the pace and win the event which was first run in 1961 when Bob Pollock drove Cormint to victory, and subsequent winners included such stars as Kiwi Dillon, Roscott, Tanaka, Pure Steel, Village Kid, Morgan James, My Current Account, Mysta Magical Mach and Hokonui Ben. This will be Vultan Tin’s third attempt to win the Memorial Day Stakes. He started out wide at barrier eight and raced without cover before locking wheels and fading to eighth behind The Bucket List in 2019, and he started from the No. 3 barrier and failed to flatter at $61 when sixth behind Ocean Ridge 12 months ago. However, he is in career-best form and he looks set to make amends for placings at his past three starts third behind Texas Tiger and seconds to Galactic Star and Stroke Of Luck. Vultan Tin began from the outside in a field of seven in a 2130m Free-For-All last Friday night when he raced three wide early and then in the breeze before fighting on doggedly to fail by a neck to overhaul the pacemaker Stroke Of Luck. He began from barrier No. 8 in a 2536m event the previous week when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before his half-head second to the leader Galactic Star. One of Vultan Tin’s rivals this week will be ten-year-old Whozideawasthis, who has a splendid record in the Memorial Day Stakes, winning by four lengths from Futurist in 2018 and second to The Bucket List in 2019. Whozideawasthis returned to top form last Friday night with a dashing last-to-first win over Lord Rosco over 2130. He will start from the outside in this week’s field of six and is capable of unwinding another strong finishing burst. The Ross Olivieri-trained Im Full Of Excuses (barrier No. 4) is racing keenly and has finished third at each of his past three starts. Chris Voak predicted that Vultan Tin should prove hard to beat and said that Im Full Of Excuses’s best prospects would be from the breeze, at least over the final 800 to 900m.   Ken Casellas

There may have only been six races on the card at Narrogin on Saturday night, but there was plenty to cheer about with Kim Prentice, Mitchell Miller and Kyle Harper all walking away with honours on the night with winning doubles. Peter Tilbrook and Kyle Harper teamed up in race one at Narrogin to take out the two-year-old race with Meteoroid in the five-horse field. After a slow 69.1 seconds first half, the juvenile sat outside the leader from the bell, to hit the lead mid-way down the straight, winning by 4.1m in a last half of 58.3 seconds, mile rating in 2:05:7. The win kicked off the first leg of Harpers driving double on the night, with the in-form reinsman steering home Tyron Terranova NZ for Vasse trainer David Hunter in race number four. The last start winner led all the way and managed to stave off the short-priced favourite in the concluding stages, giving punters a healthy start to the first leg of the quaddie. The doubles continued with Kim Prentice and Mitchell Miller taking out race three with maiden pacer Verano, who embraced the step up in class, winning by 8.9m. The 2.40 favourite was having just his seventh start in a race, and after leading for the final two laps, proved he was too good for his rivals, winning by 8.9m in a mile rate of 2:02:5. The duo teamed up again in the last, with the $1.16 favourite Irish Coffee NZ, where the three-year-old filly broke through for her maiden win at her fifth start. “Going to Narrogin, both Kim (Prentice) and I were very confident that Verano and Irish Coffee would win. Both had been working good enough to be the best horses in each race, so we would have been pretty disappointed if they didn’t win.” Miller said. The Jocelyn Young trained and reined The Watch Maker started as the $1.24 favourite in race two, after leading at the start, surrendered the lead just before the bell, but pulled out with around 400m to go, to win by 2.1m.   Ashleigh Paikos

Savvy Bromac’s owner is a pacing phenomenon Quite a remarkable sequence of events just over five years ago has resulted in Broome businessman Karl Deiley becoming interested in standardbred horses for the first time in his life. He is now the proud owner of Simba Bromac and Savvy Bromac, the first and only pacers he has raced. Both are prepared by Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey, a horseman selected by Deiley in the most unusual manner. Simba Bromac has earned $228,732 from 23 wins and 19 placings from 72 starts, and Savvy Bromac was the brilliant winner of the group 3 The Johnson final at Gloucester Park on Friday night, a victory which took her record to 21 starts for eight wins, nine placings and stakes of $87,875. Deiley explained his extraordinary method of choosing a trainer when he said he knew nobody in the harness racing industry in Western Australia and that he was like an incognito shadowy figure as he ambled around the birdcage at Gloucester Park in 2017, watching all the trainers attending to their horses. “I watched from a distance as I was analysing the trainers and I liked the way Nathan was treating his horses,” he said. He didn’t seek to speak to Turvey. Instead, he telephoned him and asked him to prepare Simba Bromac. “I got the call completely out of the blue from someone I had never met,” said Turvey, who agreed to train Simba Bromac. “Karl told me that he wanted a trainer to travel to the country tracks, so I took Simba Bromac to Kellerberrin (in October 2017) and he led all the way and won by almost ten lengths. I returned to Kellerberrin (205km east of Perth) a week later and drove Simba Bromac in the breeze before he won by eight lengths.” It was then obvious to Turvey that Deiley had seriously underestimated the potential of Simba Bromac, who went on to win a string of races at Gloucester Park. “I had a few gallopers who raced with very little success in Broome,” said Deiley. “A few years ago, I went to New Zealand for a family reunion when my mother passed, and at the wake in Christchurch I met Bob McArdle, who was a close friend of my mother.” McArdle, a legendary breeder of standardbreds, was quick to discover that he and Deiley shared a common interest in horses, and he introduced his new friend to harness racing. “And I fell in love with standardbreds and shared the ownership of Simba Bromac and later, Savvy Bromac, with Bob,” said Deiley. McArdle died in January 2018 and Deiley now owns both Simba Bromac and Savvy Bromac in his own right. Simba Bromac did not race in New Zealand. He was sent to Australia where he had six starts in Victoria for a win at Cobram in February 2017 before crossing the Nullarbor where his 66 starts to date in WA have produced 22 wins and 16 placings. Savvy Bromac raced four times in New Zealand for one win and three placings. Her record in WA is 17 starts for seven wins, six seconds and one third placing. Savvy Bromac was a $20 chance from the No. 2 barrier on the back line in Friday night’s event in which Emily Suvaljko was content to keep the four-year-old mare in fifth position, three back on the pegs, before she charged home to snatch victory, by almost a half-length from the pacemaker and $1.36 favourite Star Of Diamonds. The final quarters were covered in 28.4sec. and 27.6sec. and the winner rated 1.56.4 over the 2130m journey. Watch the race click here! Deiley, who keeps a low profile, is looking forward to Simba Bromac concluding a spell and being prepared for feature events at Gloucester Park’s summer carnival. In the short term, Deiley and Turvey are keen to see if Savvy Bromac can clinch another feature event, the $30,000 Race For Roses next Friday week. “She steps well in stands, so the Race For Roses should suit her,” said Turvey. She is the fastest point-to-point pacer I have trained.”   Taking The Miki smashes track record Speedy filly Taking The Miki emerged as a major hope in the $100,000 Diamond Classic on May 28 when she smashed the track record for two-year-old fillies in scoring a runaway victory in the group 2 APG WA Gold Bullion for fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Taking The Miki, third favourite at $3.60, trained by Ross Olivieri and driven perfectly by Chris Voak, trailed the pacemaker Extraordinary Mary before finishing with a powerful burst to win by just under six lengths from the $2.15 favourite Wonderful To Fly, with Extraordinary Mary ($2.35) a length farther back in third place.   The winner rated a sparkling 1.54.2 to set a track record for two-year-old fillies over 1730m, eclipsing the record of 1.55.1 set by Lady De La Renta when she won a heat of the WA Sales Classic on April 11, 2017. In winning, Taking The Miki turned the tables on Wonderful To Fly and Extraordinary Mary, who had defeated her at her two previous starts. “I wasn’t expecting her to win, but thought it was possible,” said Olivieri, who added that Taking The Miki and Extraordinary Mary (who is trained by his wife Jemma Hayman) would have between a week and ten days off before being prepared for the Diamond Classic and the $100,000 Westbred Classic three weeks later. “Jemma picked Taking The Miki at the 2020 APG yearling sale, and originally I went crook at her for buying the filly. But the filly ticked all our boxes.” Hayman outlaid $26,000 to buy Taking the Miki, with whom she now races in partnership with Steve Burnside, Garry McRae, Bernie Eales, Debbie Putland, Bill Brandsma and Ted and Margaret Russell. The filly now has earned $39,116 from three wins and two placings from six starts. Her sire Always A Miki was a champion pacer in America, earning $2,826,176 from 30 wins, 13 seconds and three thirds from 53 starts. Taking the Miki is the first foal out of the Bettors Delight mare All American Dream, who managed just four wins (two at Busselton and one each at Bunbury and Williams from 63 starts). Hayman admitted that Taking The Miki’s emergence as a top-flight two-year-old had surprised her, saying: “It wasn’t that long ago and just before her first trial that I thought she was going to struggle early in the season,” she said. “She wasn’t showing a lot of enthusiasm at home or on the track and was making quite a few mistakes. “We thought that we had a bit of trouble on our hands, and we almost thought that she would need more time. But to her credit in the couple of weeks following she put it all together, and she has got better and better with every run. “I’d like to give credit to Denise Trobe, who is a breeding analyst extraordinaire who said that the filly ticked all the boxes.”   Rock On Top set for Champagne Classic Rock On Top warmed up for the $50,000 Champagne Classic next Friday night in fine style with a commanding victory in the $50,000 WA APG Gold Bullion for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He has got a lot to learn but has got a lot of speed and raw ability,” said trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo after driving the $2.20 favourite to his win by three and a half lengths over $9 chance Dunamis, rating 1.55.3 over the 1730m journey. Rock On Top started from barrier six and de Campo sent him to the front after 350m, and the Rocknroll Dance gelding relished his pacemaking role. “He has had only four starts and he will contest next week’s Champagne Classic,” said de Campo. “Long-term, he will run in all the feature events for two-year-olds, providing he retains his form.” Rock On Top, owned by Robbie Tomlinson’s Oz-West Pacing, Damian Keating and Peter Morris, was purchased at the 2020 APG Perth yearling sale for $18,000 and now has earned $31,569 from three wins from four starts.   Boom Time gives Olivieri a treble Lightly-raced seven-year-old Boom Time, the hot $1.20 favourite, completed a treble for eight-time WA premiership trainer Ross Olivieri when he was untroubled to set the pace and beat the $5 second fancy Mirragon by two lengths in the 2130m Etch Coatings Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The win also gave ace reinsman Chris Voak a driving double, after he had won earlier in the night with the Olivieri-trained Taking The Miki. Olivieri’s other winner was Stroke Of Luck in the 2130m TABtouch Free-For-All. Boom Time’s easy win came after a slow lead time of 38.9sec. and modest opening quarters of 31.4sec. and 30.6sec. Boom Time then dashed over the final 400m sections in 29sec. and 27.1sec. Mirragon trailed Boom Time throughout and did not get clear until late, when he flashed home, out wide. Boom Time has had only 35 starts for 11 wins, nine placings and $91,957 in stakes. He won twice from five starts in New Zealand, his seven Victorian starts produced three wins, and he has raced 23 times for Olivieri in WA for six wins and six placings. He is owned by Merv Butterworth’s Butterworth Racing Syndicate, which also races eight-year-old Stroke Of Luck, who was a $4.90 chance, with Chris Lewis in the sulky, when he set the pace and fought on grandly to beat the $2.80 favourite Vultan Tin in the Free-For-All, rating 1.56. Vultan Tin started from the outside in the field of seven and raced three wide early before working in the breeze and fighting on in typical dogged fashion. The Butterworth syndicate’s second-string runner Im Full Of Excuses ($9.50) raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before finishing powerfully, out four wide, to be third, ahead of last-start winner Galactic Star, who had enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Stroke Of Luck, a gelding by Major In Art, has earned $248,406 from 17 wins and 22 placings from 78 starts. He was on offer for sale to American buyers for $30,000 about six weeks ago. But he was overlooked by prospective purchasers who said the gelding was too old. Since then, Stroke Of Luck has had five starts in Free-For-All company for two wins, two seconds and a seventh placing for stakes of $38,846.   Rakasinc bounces back New Zealand-bred five-year-old Rakasinc, somewhat disappointing when unplaced at his two previous outings, bounced back to his best form with a stylish victory in the 2130m Cowden The Insurance Brokers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The well-supported $3.70 equal favourite with Shanway, Rakasinc was produced in top shape by trainer Nathan Turvey and was given a perfect trip by Emily Suvaljko in the one-out, one-back position before being switched three wide 650m from home and then surging to the front 250m later on his way to a most impressive victory by two and a half lengths from last-start winner Rabchenko ($4.80). Rabchenko, driven by Chris Voak, also enjoyed an ideal passage behind the pacemaker Rebel With A Grin, and he fought on determinedly in an up-tempo event that had a smart lead time of 35.5sec. followed by quarters of 29sec., 29.3sec., 29sec. and 28.9sec. Rakasinc, who is part-owned by GPHR vice-president Kevin Jeavons, rated a slick 1.54.6. The Changeover gelding now has raced 60 times for 14 wins, 16 placings and $112,551 in prizemoney.   Flying start paves the way for Tenno Sho Pinjarra trainer Tracy Reay maintained her excellent form with her big team of square gaiters when veteran performer Tenno Sho began brilliantly from out wide at barrier eight before setting the pace and coasting to a convincing win over the Debra Lewis-trained The Debater and another Reay-trained trotter Mortician in the 2130m Channel 7 Trot at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Supporters of Tenno Sho, the $3.70 second favourite, had a few moments of concern when Tenno Sho raced roughly in the mobile score-up. But Michael Grantham quickly had Tenno Sho back in his stride and the eight-year-old burst straight to the front. Tenno Sho led from the $3.10 favourite and last-start winner Dark Secret, who was forced to work in the breeze and then wilted in the final stages to finish fourth. Tenno Sho, a winner of five races in Victoria, has had 70 starts in WA for 11 wins and 26 placings for a career record of 134 starts for 16 wins, 43 placings and stakes of $156,694.   Hampton Banner has a bright future Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis looks set for many more wins with the lightly-raced New Zealand-bred four-year-old Hampton Banner, who was not extended in leading and winning easily from Palatino and Poisedtopounce in the 1730m Simmonds Steel Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hampton Banner, driven by Chris Lewis, asserted his ascendancy when he sped over the opening quarter of the final mile in 27.8sec. He then relaxed with quarters of 30.3sec. and 29.6sec. before sprinting over the final 400m in 28sec. He rated a smart 1.55.2. This followed his easy all-the-way win at a 1.56.5 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park ten nights earlier. He now has had five starts in Western Australia for two wins and a second placing after racing nine times in New Zealand for three wins and one placing. This completed a double for Lewis, who was successful behind Stroke Of Luck in the previous event.   Whozideawasthis overcomes setbacks Ten-year-old Whozideawasthis showed that he still has plenty of natural speed in his old legs when he sprinted home fast from the 400m to get up and snatch a last-stride victory by a half-head over the pacemaker Lord Rosco in the 2130m The West Australian Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He has done a great job for a horse who has done a tendon a couple of times,” said star reinsman Gary Hall jnr. “He damaged a tendon after he had gone through the grades, and then when we brought him back the injury flared up again.” Injuries forced him out of action for nine months, between June 2018 and March 2019 and for ten months, between December 2019 and October 2020. He has been sound in recent months and his win on Friday night when a $3 favourite ended a losing sequence of eleven. “He has to be driven one way (as a sit-sprinter),” said Hall. “He was pushed four wide on the final bend and has done a good job. He put the writing on the wall the previous week when he got home well and ran good time when fourth behind Galactic Star and Vultan Tin in a 2536m Free-For-All.” Whozideawasthis won nine races in New Zealand before he raced 29 times in New South Wales for just four wins, all at Penrith, before part-owner Albert Pizzuto sent him over to WA to be prepared by Gary Hall snr. He has performed in fine style for Hall, with his 61 starts, all at Gloucester Park, producing 13 wins and 15 placings. He now has a fine record of 107 starts for 26 wins, 18 placings and stakes of $291,916. His win on Friday night completed a treble for Hall and his son, who combined earlier in the program for wins with Jumpingjackmac and Diego. Diego, the $1.20 favourite, gave a sample of his class with a powerful victory in the 2536m Direct Trades Supply Pace. From the No. 3 barrier Diego raced three wide early before surging to the front after 600m. He gave his rivals little chance by dashing over the final quarters in 28.7sec. and 27.5sec. and he ended a losing run of seven by beating the early leader Extreme Prince ($14) by 11m. “Diego went super, and that was probably more like the Diego we know,” said Hall jnr. Diego, a Bettors Delight five-year-old, had 17 starts in New Zealand for three wins and five placings, and his 17 appearances in WA have resulted in seven wins and four placings.   Jumpingjackmac is WA Derby bound Exciting Mach Three gelding Jumpingjackmac continued his preparation for the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby next Friday week with a superb performance in the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. From out wide at barrier seven, the $1.50 favourite settled in sixth position with polemarker Sugar Street ($7.50) setting the early pace. Gary Hall jnr wasted little time in sending Jumpingjackmac forward with a three-wide burst and the gelding surged to the front after 650m. He left his rivals floundering in his wake as he sprinted over the final quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.4sec. He won by just over seven lengths, rating 1.55.7. Sugar Street fought on gamely into second place, with $20 chance Be Rock Hard running on from fourth at the bell to be third. This was Jumpingjackmac’s fifth win from just seven starts, and Hall jnr said that he would race again at Gloucester Park next Friday night as an important final race before the 2536m Derby the following Friday night. “He is still a baby as far as Derby horses go,” said Hall. “And that’s why I really made him run to the line tonight. You can’t go into a 2536m Derby 90 per cent fit. He needs to be 100 per cent. “He’s got a bit of toughness and heaps of speed, so when you combine those assets, you end up with a decent horse.” Jumpingjackmac is a firm second favourite behind Lavra Joe for the WA Derby, and the clash between these two outstanding three-year-olds in the Derby promises to be one of the highlights of the season. Lavra Joe, trained by Ray Jones, will complete his Derby preparation when he runs in the Country Derby at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park next Saturday night. The highly regarded Mighty Ronaldo, who finished sixth behind Jumpingjackmac on Friday night, is also likely to contest the Country Derby.   Ken Casellas

With Gary Hall Jr’s win aboard the Justin Prentice trained Lets Get Messi at Bunbury on Saturday night, the champion reinsman notched his 3206th career victory as a driver. This is level with the number of winners his father Gary Hall Sr has trained in his illustrious harness racing career. This is a quirky bit of trivia from stats guru Alan Parker, about the pair of RWWA Hall Of Fame inductees who have dominated WA harness racing for over a decade, winning virtually every big race in the West as well as numerous features on the East Coast and New Zealand. The father and son duo most famously combined with champion pacer Im Themightyquinn to win three Inter Dominions, including the 2012 Inter Dominion on their home track of Gloucester Park in front of a massive crowd.   On Friday night, the Halls will combine with Jumpingjackmac (race 3), Mr Kiwi (Race 4), Diego (Race 8) and whozideawasthis (race 10), whilst Hall Jr has a number of other drives for outside stables and Hall Sr will harness up four runners in race 8.     Gloucester Park

It’s quite a mixed bag of specials for Gloucester Park this week from the members of the WA Trotting Media Guild. Only two members – veteran trotting scribe Ken Casellas and TABradio’s Hayden King – have settled on the same best bet. Hall of Fame journalist Casellas, who was recently honoured for his long list of work and awards in harness racing with the introduction of The Ken Casellas Media Excellence Award, is keen on Boom Time. “It’s always a warming feeling leaving Gloucester Park on a Friday night after backing the winner of the final event,” Casellas said. “And therefore I’m making Boom Time my best bet this week – to triumph in the 11th final race. Boom Time burst back to his best last week when he surged home from the rear to score an impressive victory. I’m predicting that the lightly raced seven-year-old will be seen in a different role this week by setting the pace from the No. 1 barrier and holding out the up-and-coming Mirragon.” And King agrees. “Boom Time finally gets the draw in the final race on the program,” King said. “ Chris Voak is going to have Mirragon right where he wants him and can rate Boom Time to win as he does so well.” Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart believes promising two-year-old Rock On Top can frank his heat victory by winning the Gold Bullion Final for colts and geldings. “Rock On Top was without doubt the most impressive winner of the heats,” Wishart said. “He should be too good again in this.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has made Hampton Banner his best for the meeting. “Hampton Banner took advantage of his best barrier in four local starts to lead and win easily here 10 days ago,” Havercroft said. “I don’t expect Palatino to try and hold the nominal favourite out, and from there he would take catching on his last outing.” TABradio’s Matt Young has opted for a squaregaiter as his star bet. “Tenno Sho has wonderful gate speed and can overcome the wide draw to lead,” Young said. “The speedy squaregaiter has been racing really well and can lead them a merry dance here.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning believes Star Of Diamonds can post an all-the-way victory in the Johnson Fillies & Mares Pace. “Star Of Diamonds displays the consistency that is a trademark of  her trainer Barry Howlett’s team and she has the prized No.1 barrier,” Manning said. The mare’s tally from her last seven starts is four wins and three places. She won last month’s Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra before finishing third in the Empress Stakes. Her Gloucester Park win last Friday night was most impressive.” Longshot guru Pat Harding has landed on Galactic Star as his best bet. “Looks like another tough night at GP – seems to be the pattern of late,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race six with No. 6 Galactic Star. He had a great win last week and in this small field of seven he should be able to show his class again.” But Guild president Wayne Currall disagrees with Harding. “I loved the way old Vultan Tin attacked the line last week when the closest of seconds behind Galactic Star,” Currall said. “The rising 10-year-old did all the bullocking work outside of Galactic Star, who led comfortably from the pole. Will be a different story this week and I’m confident Vultan Tin can turn the tables.” VALUE BETS KEN: For value, I suggest Heavens Showgirl in the Group 3 Johnson Final. She has created a big impression at her first three starts in WA by leading from the No. 1 barrier and winning without being extended. She has an extremely bright future. HAYDEN: Rabchenko unwound a sustained burst through the final 800m in quick sectionals to win running away last week. He just needs a modicum of luck to be a sterling winning chance again. WARREN: I have thrown out As Happy As Larry a few times now, but this is the race for him. I’m hoping he is missed by the market. Doesn’t have the numerical form but this is his race. RYAN: On Fast Forward has been racing in consistent form and is safe from the mobile barrier. Likely to be at juicy each-way odds. MATT: Dunamis is a wonderful chance. The indicative price at $12 seems wonderful value from the draw in the Gold Bullion for the colts and geldings. ERNIE: Poisedtopounce is due to hit form for co-trainers Greg and Skye Bond after a five-start losing run. The four-year-old won at 10 of his previous 16 starts. He faced a difficult task from gate eight when unplaced last Friday night. PAT: My value bet comes in race 10 with No. 3 As Happy As Larry. While his recent form isn’t that flash, in this small field where there’s not a great deal of form I think Robbie Williams can guide him home. WAYNE: Anyone who saw Mortician’s run at Pinjarra last Monday would have been impressed. He came off 80m and only went down by a length. He’ll be at liberal odds on Friday night and can run a race at odds. To view all of the Media Guild tips for this week click here. Good Punting.   Wayne Currall

Champion harness racing reinsman Gary Hall Jnr declared that brilliant lightly-raced gelding Jumpingjackmac was on target to perform strongly in the $200,000 Sky WA Derby in a fortnight, and he is looking forward to testing him against several likely Derby rivals when he contests the Worldwide Printing Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Jumpingjackmac, prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr, will not have a stroll in the park when he starts out wide at barrier seven, with several fast beginners and strong frontrunners drawn to his inside. They include polemarker Sugar Street, Powerplay (barrier two) and Be Rock Hard (three), all of whom have excellent gate speed and are strong frontrunners. Jumpingjackmac has had three runs in his latest preparation for an easy first-up victory over The Swiss Maestro, a strong-finishing second to Lavra Joe and a last-start narrow win over the pacemaker Arma Einstein, rating 1.56.2 over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. “I was really happy with his latest run,” said Hall Jnr. “It would have been nice to have drawn a better barrier this week.” Sugar Street, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, showed that he was capable of earning a start in the Derby with a strong first-up victory over Bettors Destroya over 2100m at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park last Saturday night. Reinsman Chris Voak said he was sure that Sugar Street would be much improved after his Bunbury win. “We have the speed to hold up, but I have yet to speak to Barry about tactics,” he said. “Sugar Street is very talented, and we haven’t seen the best of him.” Perhaps the greatest threat to Jumpimngjackmac on Friday night could be Justin Prentice’s Mighty Ronaldo, who will start from the inside of the back line. On Friday night Prentice will be in the sulky, replacing Hall, who has driven Mighty Ronaldo at eleven of his 15 starts, including a head victory over Lavra Joe in the group 2 Sales Classic four starts ago, at Gloucester Park on February 26. Mighty Ronaldo impressed with his excellent third behind Lavra Joe in the Battle of Bunbury last Saturday night when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand in Friday night’s event, with Be Rock Hard at barrier three and Mufasa from the No. 6 barrier. Ryan Warwick has given punters a good lead by choosing to drive Be Rock Hard in preference to Mufasa, who will be handled for the first time in a race by Dylan Egerton-Green.   Ken Casellas

Rock On Top, who was sold for $18,000 at the 2020 APG Perth yearling sale, has bright prospects of notching his third win from four starts when he contests the $50,000 Group 2 APG WA Gold Bullion final for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He reappeared after an absence of 40 days when he gave an impressive performance to win a qualifying heat from The Wildcard and Seven No Trumps on Tuesday of last week. Rock On Top started from barrier five in the field of six and raced in fourth position, one-out and one-back, before running home strongly with a three-wide burst in which he covered the final 400m in 28sec. Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo said he was pleased with the win, adding: “He did a bit better than I thought he would. He was a bit underdone, first-up for more than a month and he sprinted over the top of them really well. “He overcame barrier five in the heat, and he has definitely got the ability to win from barrier six this week. Although this is a bit stronger race, I reckon he’s up to them. I have been happy with him since his latest win, and his work this morning (Tuesday) was really good.” Rock On Top’s chief rivals appear to be the Ross Olivieri-trained Follow The Music and Shane Quadrio’s The Wildcard. Rock On Top rated 1.59.2 in his heat, and Follow The Music was not extended in setting the pace from the No. 1 barrier and winning his heat by just under two lengths from Rellim, rating 1.58.5. “Follow The Music went well in his heat and he should be better in the final,” said Olivieri. “He was injured in a heat of the Sales Classic (when fourth behind Rock On Top in mid-February) and was unable to run in the final. We were lucky that he didn’t damage a tendon when he was struck on a boot, but we had to give him two weeks off.” Star reinsman Chris Voak said that Follow The Music had trained on well since his heat win. “He is the only runner on the back line, and I’m not quite sure how to drive him. If I get clear running, he can win.” The Wildcard will be driven by Kyle Harper and will start from the No. 3 barrier. He followed an all-the-way win over 1684m at Pinjarra with a well-beaten third behind Griffin Lodge at Gloucester Park and then a good second to Rock On Top in the Gold Bullion heat when he trailed the pacemaker Seven No Trumps.   Ken Casellas

Wonderful To Fly had a tough run in the breeze before scoring an easy victory in a qualifying heat of the APG WA Gold Bullion classic for two-year-old fillies on Tuesday of last week, and Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Shane Young is quietly confident she can overcome the outside barrier in the field of five in the $50,000 final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In the heat, Wonderful To Fly started from the No. 5 barrier and she raced without cover before dashing to the front 350m from home and winning by just under two lengths from Taking The Miki, who enjoyed a perfect passage on the back of Wonderful To Fly. “I don’t think that the draw this week is a worry, but I’m not saying that I’m just going to win,” said Young. “The way she went, she looks the testing material. She is still learning to race, and it was good that she didn’t overrace and was able to relax in the heat.” Wonderful To Fly, bred by Kevin and Annette Charles, was passed in at $10,000 at the 2020 APG WA yearling sale before Young purchased her for $20,000 a few months after the sale on behalf of himself, his daughter Alison and several stable clients. The filly now has earned $18,331 from three wins and two placings from six starts. Wonderful To Fly had been broken in and had had two preparations when Young asked Kevin Charles if he had anything for sale. “Kevin said he had some youngsters for sale, so I went and had a look at those horses, and I picked out Wonderful To Fly,” said Young. “Dad (Ron Young) had given the filly a preparation and he said that he liked her. She was quite an athletic type, and I was able to drive her on the track when she felt okay.” Wonderful To Fly is sure to be seriously tested by Extraordinary Mary (barrier two) and Taking The Miki (barrier three). Extraordinary Mary, trained by Jemma Hayman and to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, has won at two of her five starts when Suvaljko took full advantage of her gate speed and drove her to all-the-way victories, including the Western Crown Classic two starts ago when she beat Wonderful To Fly by a neck, with Taking The Miki in third place. Chris Voak, who will drive the Ross Olivieri-trained Taking the Miki, said that the filly was still a bit immature, but was certainly capable of figuring in the finish. “She is improving and her trackwork is getting better,” he said. Trainer Michael Brennan is looking for a strong effort from Miss Sassy (barrier four). “She has been awfully unlucky at her past two starts,” he said. “If Extraordinary Mary and Wonderful To Fly go to war, Miss Sassy will play a part.”   Ken Casellas

“He’s now better than he has ever been, even better than when he won the WA Pacing Cup last December,” declared breeder-owner-trainer Phil Costello when assessing his wonderful nine-year-old’s prospects in the 2130m $25,000 TABtouch Free-For-All at Gloucester Park on Friday night.  Vultan Tin, to be driven by Emily Suvaljko from the outside barrier in the field of seven, gets a good chance to turn the tables on another outstanding evergreen performer in Galactic Star, who will be handled by Ryan Warwick from the No. 6 barrier. Galactic Star, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, set the pace from barrier one and fought on grimly to defeat Vultan Tin by a half-head over 2536m last Friday night. Vultan Tin started out wide at barrier eight and worked in the breeze for most of the way. “Vultan Tin is jumping out of his skin and is loving racing,” said Costello. “I have changed his work this week to suit the race distances. He is dropping back from 2536m to 2130m, and his work has been lighter and he should have more sprint in his legs. “The shorter distance this week shouldn’t affect his chances of turning the tables on Galactic Star when much will depend on what tactics are used on that horse who has the advantage of drawing on the inside of Vultan Tin. “Vultan Tin is strong and doesn’t mind doing some work, but we don’t want to gas him out and bust his guts in the first 200m. The plan will be to just keep working forward. If you don’t bustle him too early, he usually finishes off really well. “His run last week was super, and his win in the Pinjarra Cup (2692m) about seven weeks ago when he led and beat Miracle Moose and Mighty Conqueror by a few lengths, going 1.57.2 in the mud, was outstanding. There probably hasn’t been a Pinjarra Cup win like that for ten years.” Costello said that Vultan Tin, a veteran of 178 starts for 29 wins and 46 placings for stakes of $936,678, would be aimed for the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup in the coming summer. “He will keep racing in Free-For-Alls until he shows me that he wants a break,” Costello said. “Then he will have a rest, and after a spell he will be prepared for the big Cups.” Vultan Tin certainly will need to be at his peak to defeat the eight-year-old Galactic Star, who took his earnings to $683,127 from 31 wins and 29 placings from 93 starts when he beat Vultan Tin last Friday night. Adding interest to this week’s race will be the first appearance in Free-For-All ranks for New Zealand-bred five-year-old Valbonne, who will be driven by Michael Grantham from the No. 1 barrier. Valbonne had his first start for Blythewood trainer Michael Brennan when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to win from Rock Me Over and Quick Stride over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. “Valbonne is a really nice horse,” said Brennan. “We decided to step up a grade to enable him to get a good draw. They tell me that he goes really good in front. But I haven’t yet spoken to Albert (owner Albert Walmsley) or Michael (Grantham) about what we will do. “He won’t disgrace himself. His win at Pinjarra was very good and he has come on in leaps and bounds since then.”   Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has been engaged to drive exciting mare Heavens Showgirl in the Group 3 $30,000 The Johnson Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and the five-year-old looks set to fight out the finish of the 2130m feature event. Trainer Nathan Turvey has driven Heavens Showgirl for effortless victories at her first three appearances in Western Australia and he has decided to concentrate on the training aspects this week. Heavens Showgirl has started from the No. 1 barrier at her three WA starts and has not been extended in setting the pace and winning by an average margin of three lengths. She sizzled over the final 400m in 27sec. at her latest appearance when she easily defeated her smart stablemate Savvy Bromac last Friday week. She rises in class this week when she will start from the No. 6 barrier. But she has the natural speed and strength to overcome her somewhat awkward draw. In an excellent field of mares, Heavens Showgirl is sure to meet spirited opposition from the polemarker Star Of Diamonds and other in-form performers including Somebeachsomeparty, Savvy Bromac, Nikasa, Leap Of Faith and Weewah. While Turvey has two of the main contenders in Heavens Showgirl and Savvy Bromac (who will start from barrier two on the back line and will be handled by Emily Suvaljko), so does Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who will be represented by Star Of Diamonds and Somebeachsomeparty. Four-year-old Star Of Diamonds will be handled by Chris Voak and will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. She is racing with refreshing enthusiasm and her past 16 starts have produced six wins and eight placings, including her easy victory last week. “She won with the earplugs still in last week,” said Voak. “She gets her chance to lead this week and should be very hard to beat. The last time she led was four starts ago when she was narrowly beaten by Altamatum (after a final 800m in 55.6sec.). I think she has the edge in fitness over her stablemate Somebeachparty, who is racing first-up.” Somebeachparty, who will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, should enjoy an ideal trip after starting from the inside of the back line, and she should not be underestimated. She boasts a splendid record of 20 starts for eight wins, seven seconds and two thirds. This will be Somebeachsomeparty’s first appearance since she covered a lot of extra ground and finished third behind Waltzingwithsierra and Vivere Damore on January 8. Nikasa, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from the outside of the back line. She is racing keenly and is due for a change of luck after finishing second at five of her past seven starts. The Bonds will also be represented by another Bettors Delight four-year-old Weewah, who notched her 13TH win from 39 starts when she finished strongly to beat Western Arterra and Power And Grace over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. The Luke Edwards-trained Leap Of Faith, the fast-finishing winner over Lawrence and Glenledi Chief in the 2902m Easter Cup last Friday week, faces a stern test from the No. 8 barrier. Maddison Brown will be the new driver for the Jocelyn Young-trained Has No Fear, who will start from the No. 4 barrier. The five-year-old who has earned $259,677 from ten wins and 18 placings from 61 starts, has a losing sequence of 14. She finished strongly when second to Wainui Creek in the 2536m Empress Stakes two starts ago.   Ken Casellas

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