Day At The Track

De Campo holds a strong hand

07:44 PM 14 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Aiden De Campo,Harness racing

Three heats of the Nights of Thunder will be decided over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and Capel trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo holds a strong hand.

There is only one last-start winner in each of the three heats and de Campo will drive each of them The Kraken, Tellmetoattack and Blue Blazer.

De Campo is not bursting with confidence, but he considers that all three pacers have each-way prospects.

The Kraken, a brilliant beginner and fine frontrunner, will start from the outside barrier in the field of seven in the first heat. He has won in dashing style at his past two appearances (over 2130m) at Gloucester Park when he has led from the No. 1 and the No. 8 barriers.

“There are some quick beginners inside of him on Friday night,” said de Campo. “So, I’ll be playing it by ear. He is not a one-trick pony who doesn’t have to go forward.”

The likely favourite in this heat is the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Kilowatt Kid, who has drawn perfectly at barrier one for star reinsman Ryan Warwick.

Kilowatt Kid has a losing sequence of eight and is not a noted frontrunner who has fair gate speed, but certainly is not blessed with sparkling early speed.

Nineteen of his 38 starts have been in stands, and he has drawn the No. 1 barrier in two of his 19 appearances in mobiles for a second over 2400m at Winton in December 2017 when he sat behind the pacemaker and then raced three back on the pegs before finishing fast, and a fading sixth behind Duke of Wellington after setting the pace in the 2700m group 2 Supremacy Stakes at Invercargill in April 2018.

Kilowatt Kid has contested only three mobile events in his 13 WA appearances running on from sixth at the bell to be a head second to Cyclone Banner over 2130m at Gloucester Park on May 19, 2020, covering a lot of extra ground before winning by a neck from Shadow Roll over 2185m at Pinjarra on May 25, 2020, and racing wide early and then in the one-out and one-back position before finishing solidly to be third behind stablemates Justasec and Taroona Bromac at a 1.56.2 rate over 2130m at Gloucester park on December 28 last year.

Tellmetoattack has excellent prospects in the second heat in which he is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2. He warmed up for this assignment with a smart all-the-way victory over 2265m at Albany last Saturday week.

“He is up in class a little bit,” said de Campo. “If he had drawn one, I would have been quite confident. But I’m not quite sure whether he will be able to cross Im Rocknroll Magic. I’ll have a crack for the top, but if we can’t get there I’ll just drop in behind the leader.”

The Debra Lewis-trained Im Rocknroll Magic has a losing sequence of 16, but his past two efforts have been encouraging thirds behind Tellmetoattack at Albany and behind Walsh and Carrera Mach at Gloucester Park last week.

A most interesting runner is the Bond-trained six-year-old Bettor Aim, who will start from the outside in the field of seven at his first start in a race for 23 months. He has won at nine of his 16 starts and is capable of causing a surprise.

The Bonds also will be represented by Infatuation, who has won at ten of his 19 starts and will have many admirers at his first appearance since last July. He set the pace and won a 2150m Byford trial last Sunday morning, beating Sergeant Oats by two lengths and rating 2.0.4.

The Ross Olivieri-trained Queen Shenandoah has been performing soundly in strong company and is capable of a bold showing from the No. 3 barrier. “She will go well,” said reinsman Chris Voak. “She should get a nice soft trip and if she gets a split inside the 300m she will storm home.”

Blue Blazer, who ran home gamely to beat Rock Me Over by a neck over 2536m last Friday night, will start from the outside in the field of seven in the third heat. “He went good last week, but the sprint distance this week is probably not his go,” said de Campo. However, if the speed is on, he will be coming home late.”

The Olivieri-Voak combination looks very hard to beat in this heat in which former Victorian pacer Thats Perfect will start from the No. 6 barrier. He finished strongly when fifth behind Bletchley Park in the Village Kid Sprint last Friday night.

“If it was a 2130m race I’d say that Thats Perfect would be unbeatable,” said Voak. “But average horses can run a good mile. He will probably have to do it the tradesman’s way again.”


Ken Casellas

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