Day At The Track

Gloucester Park review

07:00 PM 30 Mar 2020 NZDT
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WA Trotting Media Guild thoughts 7th June,Harness racing

Prentice reigns supreme

Ace Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice maintained his recent dominance of the Simmonds Steel Empress Stakes when he drove Pick My Pocket to an impressive all-the-way victory in the $50,000 classic for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

It was his third win in the past five runnings of the group 2 feature after successes with Major Reality (driven by Brayden Green) in 2016 and The Parade (driven by Gary Hall jnr) in 2017.

Well supported and starting a $3.80 fancy, Pick My Pocket ended a losing sequence of eight and boosted her prizemoney to $150,284 from ten wins and 14 placings from 40 starts.

Prentice took full advantage of the prized No. 1 barrier and he was able to coast through the first two quarters of the final mile in 30.7sec. and 30.4sec. before sprinting the final 400m sections in 28.3sec. and 28.8sec. Pick My Pocket fought on tenaciously in the final stages to keep $10 chance Gotta Go Gabbana at bay and score by a head at a 1.59.3 rate over 2536m.

Gotta Go Gabbana, who started from the outside barrier (No. 9) dashed forward in the first circuit and raced in the breeze for more than two laps. Dracarys, a stablemate of the winner, charged home, six wide, from ninth at the bell to be an eye-catching third, with Parisian Partygirl, the winner of the Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, running home strongly from seventh at the bell to be fourth. American Delight, last at the bell, finished fifth.

The well-fancied Our Alfie Romeo enjoyed little luck and finished tenth after being blocked for a clear passage in the final lap.

Pick My Pocket, raced by Bob Fowler’s Allwood Stud Farm, is bred to be a winner. After one win from five starts in New Zealand, the six-year-old has raced 35 times in Western Australia for nine wins and 13 placings.

Pick My Pocket, by superstar stallion Bettors Delight, is out of the In The Pocket mare La Filou, who won just one race from eights starts in New Zealand before producing The Dip, who had 203 starts for 20 wins, 44 placings and $191,503.

La Filou is out of Scuse Me (25 starts for eight wins, eight placings and $126,841) who is the dam of 13 winners, including star performers Adore Me (36 starts for 26 wins, seven placings and $1,667,029) and Have Faith In Me (81 starts for 27 wins, 23 placings and $1,693,187).

Friday night’s victory gave Fowler his second success in the Empress Stakes. He raced Benetar Star, who was trained and driven by Fred Kersley jnr when she won the big race from Gold Duchess and Cap Sensitive in 1990.

Mach Da Vinci does it tough

New Zealand-bred colt Mach Da Vinci enhanced his claims for a start in the $200,000 WA Derby next Friday night when he revealed excellent fighting qualities to win the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Favourite at $1.90, Mach Da Vinci started from the back line and Dylan Egerton-Green quickly had him in sixth position, three back in the one-wide line, with polemarker Crocodile Kid setting the pace from Lord Rosco in the breeze after failing in a spirited bid to get to an early lead.

Mach Da Vinci started a three-wide run approaching the bell and he worked hard in the final lap before he finally got the better of Crocodile Kid in the closing stages. And then he held off $8 chance One For Dave Andme, who finished strongly along the pegs and went down by just a short half-head, with Crocodile Kid ($8.50) a neck away in third place.

The final quarters were run in 28.2sec. and 29.1sec. and the winner rated 1.56.6 in notching his fifth win from 19 starts.

The Stephen Reed-trained Lord Rosco will pay to follow. He showed abundant early speed when the lead time was run in a slick 35.6sec. and he fought on grandly to finish a close-up fourth.

Late bid by Harley Zest

New Zealand-bred gelding Harley Zest made a belated bid for inclusion in the field for the $200,000 WA Derby at Gloucester Park next Friday night when he scored a fighting victory over other Derby hopefuls in the Community TAB Pace over 2130m on Friday night.

Harley Zest, part-owned, trained and driven by Brad Stampalia, was a $39.40 outsider despite a strong-finishing effort to win from Intheskyrocket at Gloucester Park eight days earlier.

Harley Zest enjoyed a perfect passage in the one-out, one-back position before Stampalia sent him forward, with a three-wide burst 650m from home. The gelding moved on terms with the pacemaker Pocket The Cash and the breeze horse Manifestly Excesiv at the 350m mark.

He gradually edged ahead and won by a neck from the $2.75 favourite Hampton Banner, who raced in eighth position before starting a three-wide move 750m from home. He then followed Harley Zest over the final 650m. Pocket The Cash held on for third and Caveman (who trailed the leader) was fourth.

Harley Zest is by Art Major and is out of the Christian Cullen mare Zest Philly, whose only win from 15 starts was when, as a five-year-old, she finished strongly from twelfth on the home turn to beat Cracklin Rosie by a neck in the modest time of 2.1.8 over 1609m at Winton in September 2012. Zest Philly is a half-sister to the injury plagued Zennart, who has had only 31 starts for 12 wins, five placings and $128,332 in stakes.

Shockwave notches hat-trick

Blossoming star pacer Shockwave brought up a winning hat-trick when he overcame the disadvantage of the outside barrier (No. 8) to do all the bullocking work in the breeze and beat the $1.20 favourite Galactic Star in the $25,000 Direct Trades Supply Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Galactic Star, widely fancied after drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier, survived an early challenge for the lead from As Happy As Larry and relished his pacemaking role.    

Aiden de Campo restrained Shockwave at the start and the four-year-old was last in the field of eight 250m after the start when he began a three-wide move which took him outside the pacemaking Galactic Star 200m later.

Shockwave got his nose in front about 250m from the finish and he and Galactic Star raced  stride for stride in the home straight, with Shockwave prevailing by a head, rating 1.57.4 after final quarters of 27.3sec. and 27.7sec. Shockwave now has had 35 starts for 13 wins, 11 placings and $360,930 in prizemoney.

Miracle Moose flies home

Lightly-raced four-year-old Miracle Moose looks set for a highly successful career in Western Australia after he gave an outstanding performance to thunder home from last at the bell in a field of twelve to win the 2130m Abbott and Co. Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Trained by Nathan Turvey and driven by Emily Suvaljko, the New Zealand-bred gelding was an outside at $40.70 from barrier seven and he caused an upset in getting up in the final stride to win by a half-head from the $1.60 favourite Bettor Be Oscar, rating 1.57.9.

The 13 part-owners of Miracle Moose can look forward with confidence for further successes with the Mach Three gelding’s first eight starts in WA producing four wins and two thirds after having 15 starts in New Zealand for two wins and four placings.

Trained and driven by Tony Herlihy, Miracle Moose showed wonderful early promise when, as a three-year-old and at his second start, he raced three back on the pegs and finished solidly to be third behind Major Trojan in a 2200m event at Alexandra Park in September 2018 in which the final 800m was covered in 56.9sec.

Major Trojan has gone from strength to strength since then and now has raced 13 times for six wins (including the WA Derby in April of last year), five placings and $204,6898 in stakes.

Miracle Moose has inherited much of the ability of his dam, the Bettors Delight mare Minnie Moose, who was trained by Mark Purdon before being retired with earnings of $142,791 from eight wins and 21 placings from 55 starts. Minnie Moose’s final start was in the inaugural Five-Year-Old Diamond at Ashburton when she finished second to champion mare Bettor Cover Lover.

Miracle Moose won at his first two starts in WA when he set the pace at Bridgetown and Albany in February this year. He also led when a winner at Narrogin at his fourth WA appearance.  

My Carbon Copy is on the rise

New Zealand-bred four-year-old My Carbon Copy gave further proof at Gloucester Park on Friday night that he is set for a bright career when he finished solidly to score an easy victory in the $30,000  Clarke final over 2130m.

Driven by Stuart McDonald for champion trainer Gary Hall snr, My Carbon Copy was the second fancy at $7.10 behind another New Zealand-bred four-year-old, The Bird Dance, who was a hot favourite at $1.12 after winning at each of his previous nine starts, including eight wins from eight starts in WA.

After a fast lead time of 34.9sec., American Brave eventually got to the front from the polemarker The Bird Dance, with My Carbon Copy settling in third position on the pegs.

The Bird Dance regained the lead 600m from home but had no answer when My Carbon Copy swept to the front with 120m to travel. The Bird Dance faded to eighth.

My Carbon Copy, placed at three of his six starts in New Zealand, has raced 15 times in WA for nine wins and three placings.

Classics beckon Lavra Joe

Upstanding West Australian-bred colt Lavra Joe is rapidly developing into a leading candidate for the rich two-year-old classics later this season.

Driven by Shane Young for Greenbushes trainer Ray Jones, Lavra Joe, the $2.30 favourite, was most impressive in scoring an easy victory in the 1730m Off The Track Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

He started from the outside in the field of seven and settled in third place on the pegs, with polemarker Rich American setting the pace from Adda Something.

Young, not wanting any possibility of Lavra Joe being held in a pocket on the pegs, moved Lavra Joe into the breeze position after 450m. He did not ask Lavra Joe for an effort until leaving the back straight in the final lap. Lavra Joe responded in fine style and burst to the front 220m from the finish before dashing away to win by seven metres from Adda Something, rating 1.56.1.

Firsts all round

It was a case of firsts all round when Upper Swan trainer Michael Munro, at his first appearance in the sulky at Gloucester Park, guided War Spirit, at his first start in Western Australia, to a runaway victory in the $30,000 Mondo Doro Smallgoods Trotters Sprint on Friday night.

War Spirit, a six-year-old by American stallion Monarchy, was a $9.20 chance, with Mr Sundon all the rage as the $1.40 favourite from barrier three after winning at seven of his ten starts in the State. But when Mr Sundon galloped badly in the score-up Munro sent War Spirit straight to the front from the No. 4 barrier.

War Spirit was unchallenged in front and after final quarters of 29.2sec. and 29.1sec., he strolled to a 13-metre victory over another newcomer in Princess Mila, with Rock Tonight a nose away in third place. The winner’s rate was a smart 1.58.2.

War Spirit, a winner of two races in New Zealand, was a solid performer in Victoria where he had 37 starts for eight wins and 12 placings. He showed early promise when he won the group 1 Breeders Crown for three-year-old trotters at Melton in August 2017. Three starts before his WA debut on Friday night War Spirit set a track record when he won a 2570m stand at Geelong, rating 2.2.4 last November.

Iceenothink comes from last

South Australian-bred pacer Iceenothink continues to excite with his sprinting ability and he impressed at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he sustained a powerful burst from last in the middle stages to win the 2130m TABtouch Pace.

Stablemates Mighty Santana ($1.95) and Justasec ($4.40) from the Forrestdale stables of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond dominated betting, with Iceenothink the third fancy at $6.70.

From the No. 4 barrier, Mitch Miller restrained Iceenothink to the rear, with Mighty Santana (Dylan Egerton-Green) leading for the first lap before Ryan Warwick sent Justasec to the front. Miller sent Iceenothink forward approaching the bell and the gelding moved to sixth, out three wide, with a lap to travel.

Iceenothink got on terms, out three wide, with Justasec and Jack William 300m to travel before taking a clear lead 40m from  the post and winning by two metres from the unlucky Mighty Santana, who was badly blocked for a clear run until the final stages, when he sprouted wings.

Fifty Five Reborn is Oaks bound

Lightly-raced filly Fifty Five Reborn staked her claims for the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 1 when she produced a whirlwind finish to win the Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Trained and driven by Colin Brown in a bright green sulky, Fifty Five Reborn was a $4.80 chance from the No. 7 barrier. She was four wide for the first 150m before Brown restrained her to race in eighth position in the one-wide line. She was sixth at the 400m before she sprinted strongly to burst to the front about 50m from the post and race away to beat Blockjorg by one and a half lengths at a 1.57.4 rate over 2130m.

This was Fifty Five Reborn’s second outing after a spell and her fourth win from ten starts. She is sure to be improved when she contests the Oaks.

Blockjorg, trained by Colin Reeves and driven by Jocelyn Young, also looks to be an excellent Oaks prospect. She had a tough run in the breeze outside the pacemaker Soho Whisper before hitting the front with 320m to travel.

A stroll in the park for Taroona Bromac

Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond produced smart New Zealand-bred four-year-old Taroona Bromac in splendid fettle for his first-up appearance after an absence of almost four months when he was sent out as a $1.30 favourite for the 2130m Etch Coating Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Ryan Warwick dashed Taroona Bromac straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier and the Western Ideal gelding relished his pacemaking role and winning by one and a half lengths from Sergeant Oats, who trailed him throughout.

Taroona Bromac dashed over the final 800m in 56sec. and rated 1.57.9. This improved his record to 13 starts for ten wins and one second placing.


Ken Casellas

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