Day At The Track

Run For Mercy is Oaks bound

04:47 PM 12 Mar 2020 NZDT
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Gloucester Park,Harness racing

Ross Olivieri, an eight-time premiership trainer in WA, is confident that he has an excellent second string runner in the $150,000 WA Oaks on May 1 in Run For Mercy, who looks a good bet from the No. 1 barrier in the Direct Trades Supply Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Olivieri, who prepares the brilliant Double Expresso, the favourite for the Oaks after winning 11 times from just 14 starts, said: “One-on-one, Run For Mercy is not as good as Double Expresso. But you saw how close she got when third behind Double Expresso and Starfromthepalace in the Daintys Daughter Classic last month.

“That was her coming out moment, and she’s gone on with the job since then. At Pinjarra on Monday Run For Mercy jumped to the front and bolted in. You would think that would be the plan again on Friday night. She won in a similar field, and there were colts in the race, and on Friday night there are some classy fillies in the field.

“She’s got more than a couple to beat, but she has the barrier draw advantage. She’s got the gate speed to use this advantage.”

Run For Mercy, to be driven by Chris Voak, is favoured to win from Sports Package (barrier two) and Miss Lamarr (three), with most of the other fillies in the race capable of figuring strongly in the finish.

The Terry Ferguson-trained Sports Package flew home, five wide, from seventh at the bell to win narrowly from My Sweet Deal and the pacemaker Run For Mercy at a 1.57.3 rate over 2130m last Friday week before she raced without cover and finished second to All The Bells over 2265m at Albany last Saturday night.

Miss Lamarr finished strongly from three back on the pegs to win from Soho Whisper at a 1.57.9 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday, with trainer Michael Brennan saying: “She was very good at Pinjarra and also at her previous start when fourth in a four-way photo behind Sports Package at Gloucester Park.

“From barrier three I’d say we’ll drop back to three back on the fence with Miss Lamarr.”

Brennan also is setting Sweet Maddison for the Oaks. She followed smart wins at Narrogin and Pinjarra with a comfortable all-the-way victory from Faiselle over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when she sprinted over the final quarters in 28.6sec. and 28.1sec.

“Sweet Maddison is a long, long way from being wound up,” said Brennan. “We’ve had the Oaks in mind from the time we got her. She did everything right on Tuesday; she relaxed and did everything easily.”

Brennan is also looking for a strong performance from Miss Sangrial, who will start from the outside (No. 9) on the front line in the DTS Farm Fence Made in WA Pace over 2130m.

“Miss Sangrial and Rosies Ideal (trained and driven by Shane Young) are the two class mares in the field, with American Delight (Aiden de Campo) also a very smart mare who was impressive two starts ago when she led and finished third to Miss Sangrial and Fake News at Gloucester Park,” Brennan said.

Rosies Ideal was impressive first-up last Friday week when she raced in the breeze before winning from Miss Sangrial over 2130m.


Ken Casellas

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