Day At The Track

Machnificent excels at trials

08:10 PM 07 Apr 2020 NZST
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Gloucester Park photo

With a pacing colt named Machnificent, the expectations of success on the track are sure to be high and he looks set to live up to this hyperbole by making a bold bid for victory in the Happy Easter Pace for two-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Thursday night.

Machnificent, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for Byford trainer Katja Warwick, will be making his first appearance for six weeks and his prospects improved when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier in a quality field of five in the 1730m event.

He showed that he is ready for a powerful first-up performance with a dashing trial over 1750m at Byford on Sunday morning when he began speedily from the outside barrier, burst straight to the front and set the pace before sprinting over the final 400m in 27.6sec. to win, unextended, by ten metres from Robbie Rocket and Star of Willoughby at a 1.58 rate.

His clash with the highly promising Lavra Joe is sure to be a highlight on the ten-event program.

Lavra Joe, to be driven by Shane Young with Greenbushes owner-trainer Ray Jones, has been most impressive in scoring easy victories in fast time at his past two appearances, both over 1730 at Gloucester Park, rating 1.57.4 and 1.56.1. He will start from barrier three on Friday night.

Lavra Joe revealed toughness as well as a sparkling turn of foot in both of those wins in which he worked hard in the breeze before forging away from the opposition in the closing stages.

Star of Willoughby, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, will start from the No. 2 barrier at his first appearance since running on from sixth at the bell to finish third behind Dominus Factum over 1684m at Pinjarra on January 13. He worked hard in the breeze in Sunday’s trial and is sure to have derived considerable benefit from the workout.

Robbie Rocket, to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko for trainer Vicki Lea, faces a tough task from the outside barrier in the small field. He enjoyed a perfect trip behind Machnificent in the trial in which he found the pacemaker simply too strong.

Lavra Joe was timed in 1.58 when he won a 1609m trial at Bunbury last Saturday night. He dashed over the final quarters in 28sec. and 27.2sec. and won by 2m from Classic Choice.  


Ken Casellas

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