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Father-and-son harness racing combo Guy and Mitch Chapple are in steaming hot form and a few cold celebratory beers were the perfect reward. Mitch, who combines working as a radiator repairer and training a small team at Maitland in the Lower Hunter Valley, landed a winning double at nearby Newcastle on Friday night. And the victories were made even sweeter with Mitch’s father Guy, an accomplished reinsman, driving the pair to success. Brown colt Roclea Ruler (Heston Blue Chip-Irresistible Girl (Safely Kept) led all the way to take out the Medowie Lodge NSWBC 2yo colts and geldings heat, with stablemate La Cabeza Gem (Captaintreacherous-Gemmia (Western Terror) also an easy front-running winner in the Lochend Stud fillies division. “Both the horses raced well. It was really good and we did have a few beers and dinner down at the pub the next night,” Mitch said. “While I’m listed as the official trainer, dad and I work as a team. I’ve been licensed since December 2018 and that was my third double so everything is going along nicely.” They train a team of five horses out of a property opposite the Maitland Showgrounds which was previously owned by Mitch’s pop Charlie Lee, who passed away six or seven years ago. “It’s perfect because apart from the main race track, there’s a jog track nearby. We’ve got eight stables at the back of the house so we’re pretty lucky,” Mitch said. “If we had to float them somewhere else to a track, I really don’t think we’d be in the sport. It would be too hard because I work full-time and dad has a part-time job.” Mitch said he was always going to be part of harness racing as his family was heavily involved. “I’ve got Uncle Dean (Chapple) who is right into it. Dad was also stable driver for Shane and Lauren Tritton (now in the USA) for three years. My interest goes back to when I was just a teenager and every school holidays I’d be down at Robbie Morris’ stables,” he said. “If I was off for two weeks I’d be there for all that time, and during the six-week break, I’d spend four of those with Robbie. He has been so good to me.” The old team will join forces in the two-year-old $20,000 NSW Breeders’ Challenge semi-finals at Menangle on Saturday week with Morris booked to handle both Roclea Ruler and La Cabeza Gem. Mitch said the two youngsters were the best of their team at the moment, but were not without their challenges. “Gem can tie-up badly at times. She was really bad two or three days before her win and we pretty much just walked her around leading up to the race. She is probably 60 to 70 percent right, but we are slowly getting on top of it,” he said. “Roclea Ruler has a big future, but he’s been so green. I think the racing and travelling he’s done over the past month has played a part in improving him.” La Cabeza Gem, who made the Gold Tiara final at Bathurst back in March after winning a qualifying heat, has three wins and three placings from seven starts. Two-year-old filly La Cabeza Gem powers to the line to score an easy win Roclea Ruler hasn’t been out of the money in his six starts—having two wins and four placings. “I’ve raced a few times at Menangle in the past. We had no joy, but hopefully we can turn that around when we’re there for the semis,” Mitch said.   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

King Of Swing is a “50-50 chance” to tackle the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup and Cruz will be the only Craig Cross/Luke McCarthy representative in Saturday’s TAB Smoken Up Sprint. They were the two key takeaways when McCarthy joined RSN927’s Gait Speed today to preview an enormous fortnight of Victorian pacing, when the New South Wales camp hopes to pull off another successful southern raid. A decision on King Of Swing, who’s last Tabcorp Park Melton trip secured the Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup, remains in the hands of his owners, McCarthy said, but the door had certainly not closed on the camp’s brilliant front runner. “I’ve spoken to the owners, particularly Gary Hall Snr, they felt more comfortable if we could take him down and myself or Gary Hall Jnr could drive him,” McCarthy said, but New South Wales and Western Australia border restrictions due to covid-19 made that troublesome. “If that can’t happen it’s still not a definite that it won’t. It will be totally up to the owners, they’ll make a decision on Sunday. I’d say he’s 50-50 at this stage. “I love Melton and have had a lot of success there. Hopefully I can come down. If not at least have some of the horses from the stable there. We are really looking forward to being a part of it.” McCarthy all but ruled himself out if he had to quarantine upon returning home, with New South Wales in the midst of Breeders Challenge and “just the busyness of the racing up here”. However, there was no doubt the $300,000 Grand Circuit feature was a priority for King Of Swing. “His whole preparation has been aiming towards the Victoria Cup. He’s ready for it and his preparation’s been purposely set for the Vic Cup,” he said. “That run on Saturday night just a fortnight out was ideal for him, we won’t be able to make a decision until probably Sunday. He’s definitely ready if we can bring him down.” King Of Swing is one of six the camp has in the mix for the Victoria Cup, with reigning champion Bling It On, Cash N Flow, Balraj, Cruz and Alta Orlando also in contention for a race start, but Zennart’s Melton flirtation is over after Saturday night’s failure. McCarthy told RSN 927 only Cruz would contest this Saturday’s $50,000 TAB Smoken Up Sprint. “He had a good campaign in Brisbane, he’s work has been really good since he got back to Sydney. He’s a good miler, so he will be set for the Smoken Up.” He also gave a runner-by-runner breakdown of his others. BLING IT ON: “Really happy with him. His Menangle mile form is probably not his best. He ran a really good third on the weekend following King Of Swing. They ran a really quick last half and dad (John) was rapt with the way he hit the line. He’s spot on. He loves Melton, he’s won a lot of really good races there. We’ve got him exactly where we want him, just hope he could draw one or eight in that race, where he’d be behind leader or two (back the) fence (and) he’d definitely run a really good race.” BALRAJ “He’s flying, his form couldn’t be any better. In that last start he beat King Of Swing, got home in 52.6 I think it was. He’s ready to go. We’ve purposefully not run him again and just set him for the Vic Cup. He’s 100 per cent ready to go.” CASH N FLOW “We are going to give him a crack at it. Obviously his best form is over the mile. Smoken Up would have been a really good race for him, but we thought his runs have been spaced in Sydney every two to three weeks and to give him his best shot at a Vic Cup we’d have to miss the Smoken Up, so that’s the reason why he’s not in this week. He’s purely been set for the Vic Cup.” KING OF SWING “I think if he drew the lead they wouldn’t beat him. I think he’s the best horse from our stable and let’s hope he can get there.” ALTA ORLANDO “He made a mistake his last start, which is a bit out of character for him. We’ve given him an easy week to forget about that run and his work’s been super privately. His form before that he’s run three seconds in a row behind Balraj and King Of Swing. He’s definitely coming down, he’s ready to go.” ZENNART “It’s disappointing, because his run in Sydney the week before he went 51 for that longer trip and actually beat Balraj, that’s why we were confident he would handle that grade of race, but maybe mentally he just has to stay at Menangle on that big track. He did do that quite a lot at Gloucester Park on the 800-metre track. He can just come home and stick to Menangle.” CLICK BELOW TO TUNE IN TO THIS WEEK'S EDITION OF GAIT SPEED:     HRV - Michael Howard

Two new names were not only added to an illustrious honour roll of the Hobart Sweepstakes, but two names were also written onto the two-year-old age track records. Rocknovertime produced a mammoth performance to score in the Colts and Geldings Final to give trainer Paul Hill his eighth win across both sex divisions of the Sweepstakes. Hill, who is dubbed “King of the Kids” given his terrific record in juvenile races in the Apple Isle said to tasracing.com.au before the race that he was concerned about drawing barrier five on the second row over the mile trip and that the pacer would have to go 1:57 to win. Well, the pacer had to go a fraction quicker and was forced to lead up the three-wide line from the 1100 metres to score in 1m 56.9s to record a 1.7 metre win over the early leader Lancelot with Stormy Sanz who raced outside the leader 13.8 metres away third, with both of those pacers involved in an early speed burn which saw the race ran in quarters of 28.5s, 30.7s, 28.8s and 28.8s. The time for the mile took 0.9s of the previous age record in Hobart, which was held by Hillview Jake, also trained by Hill, when winning the 2015 Sweepstakes Final. “If you said to me before the race that the leader would go 1:56 and he (Rocknovertime) has got come from barrier 13 and be three-wide most the of the race, then you wouldn’t think he would win,” Hillier said after the race. “He tries hard and has got plenty of ability,” added the reinsman who said he would be “bashing the door down” to drive the pacer in the Group 2 Dandy Patch with heats of that series in Hobart on Sunday week over the 2090-metre trip. It was Rohan Hillier’s first win in the race since 2008 when he trained and drove Shez Ryleymak to victory. He also trained Ticket Flow in 1998. In the Fillies Final, Melnrowley equalled the Two-year-old fillies track record when she led all the way in 1m 58.4s, equalling the Two-Year-Old Fillies Track Record with Karalta Moondance who recorded the same time in 2018. From barrier four, reinsman Gareth Rattray took the pacer to the lead in a 28.9s opening quarter and was kept honest during a 30.4s second quarter before running home in 30.5s and 28.5s for a time of 1m 58.4s to record a five-metre victory over Stepping Stones with Magic Pebbles a further 14 metres away third. It was the first Sweepstakes win for trainer Craig Hayes and he was pleased with the result. “I’m very happy with her, when they went quick early and then Ray Pullen (driver of Most Perfect Major) came just when Gareth (Rattray) was trying to get a breather down the straight I was a little bit concerned but she is a strong filly and that is her biggest asset,” Hayes said after the win. The Heston Blue Chip filly will have two more runs for this campaign in the heats and final of the $50,000 Group 2 Evicus, with the heats to be held in Hobart on Sunday week. Hayes is based at Stowport on the states north-west coast and the trip to Hobart generally takes 3 3/4 hours (one way), one of the longest commutes in Tasmanian harness racing. “It generally does take a bit out of the young ones but with this filly the travel doesn’t seem to affect her,” said Hayes. “We are lucky this season with these feature races being held later in the year, they are a little bit older and the weather is better and it all helps, the couple of months from June and July is a big difference,” Hayes said, with many trainers echoing those sentiments. The win was the fifth for driver Gareth Rattray across the two divisions.   Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

Exciting Love You two-year-old colt Venerate overpowered his rivals to capture the $Can1,320,000 Mohawk Million, the richest trotting race ever held in Canada, at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday night (September 26). Starting from the back row, the colt settled down third last before moving up to fifth at three-quarter pole. Angled four deep in the home stretch, Venerate let down with a brilliant finishing flourish to score by three-quarters of a length. Time for the flying mile was 1:53.4. Venerate became the richest two-year-old trotter in North America this year with earnings of $683,766, the result of four wins and two placings in seven starts. Love You sired a winning double at Addington, New Zealand on Friday night (September 25) with the three-year-olds Leaf Stride and Wanna Play With Me. Leaf Stride made it two for two with a last-stride win in the Haras Des Trotteurs Sires’ Stakes prelude, while Wanna Play With Me notched her third success from six starts. Quaker Jet, the richest son of Love You, was represented by his ninth winner from his first Australian crop of  24 foals when the three-year-old filly Imamaorijet overcame a difficult draw and a wide passage to salute at Kilmore. Imamaorijet was bred by Haras Des Trotteurs principal Pat Driscoll out of the Inter Dominion winning mare Sumthingaboutmaori. Meanwhile, Orlando Vici’s second crop son Red White An Bloom maintained his devastating form with a crushing win at Maryborough, his third from his last four attempts. In Europe, the French trotting champion Bold Eagle sired the winners of the two biggest races for three-year-old trotters in Sweden and the winner of the Norwegian Criterium. Brambling, a colt by Bold Eagle, led throughout in the $910,000 Svensk Travkriterium, run at Solvalla on Saturday (September 26), rating a slick 1:57.3 over 1.6 miles, with Henry Flyer Susi (also by Bold Eagle), third. Brambling is out of a mare by Muscle Hill. On the same card, the Bold Eagle filly Eagle Eye Sherry sprinted sharply after enjoying a pocket trip to capture the Svensk Travkriterium $635,000 Oaks. The mile rate for the 1.3 miles was 1:57.3. Eagle Eye Sherry is from a Credit winner mare. Bold Eagle was also represented by another two feature race winners in Europe on the weekend in High Flyer, who took out the Norwegian Criterium at Bjerke, making it five wins from seven starts, and Aetos Kronos, who won the Grand Prix de l’uet at Solvalla, Sweden. The frozen semen of Love You, Bold Eagle, Orlando Vici and Quaker Jet is available to breeders in Australia and New Zealand from Haras Des Trotteurs, Ballarat (Vic.).   by Peter Wharton

Well-known Victorian harness racing trainer Simone Walker is thoroughly enjoying her dabble into the thoroughbred ranks. Despite years of experience with the standardbreds, Simone admits she's still learning at the gallops game, but she's also enjoying her fair share of success along the way. "It's been heaps of fun and so far, and doing the both codes of racing is working fine," Simone said. "My first love is probably harness racing because that's what our family's always been involved in, and you also get to be more hands on. I still get a buzz out of driving, but I think it was my partner Andrew who got me started on thinking about gallopers," she said. "We weren't making a lot in harness racing and the prize money in the thoroughbreds is unreal, so we decided to give it a go." Based at the family farm at Pearcedale, near Cranbourne, where she's been for 30 years, Simone and Andrew have seven standardbreds in work along with four thoroughbreds. "Combining the two is working out well, but we're determined not to go too high in numbers because then you start cutting corners," Simone said. "I do some of the jog work with the gallopers at home and we also take them into Cranbourne when they need a solid hit out. We have trackwork riders we use, and we've got stables that are allocated to us for three hours in the morning. "The trainers in the next-door stables to us are awesome. We are really lucky because they give us advice and they're always willing to offer a hand." It would be a fair bet that Walker will never forget her first thoroughbred winner. Ultimate Shock lived up to his name at Moe on November 21 of last year. "I think he started at 40/1, but his work at home had been good," she said. "We got him on an online auction, and he had a few fetlock problems-but most of the horses you purchase that way have issues. We are getting more experienced and always learning as we go." Ultimate Shock, now a 10-year-old, has three wins from 20 starts. Walker's latest gallops success was at Pakenham recently, when well-supported gelding Thunder Pace scored impressively over Valentina Star, prepared by the renowned Maher-Eustace team. Thunder Pace strides to the finish line to win at Pakenham for dual-coded trainer Simone Walker "He was another one we got through an online auction, and we paid about $1800 for him," she said. "He was once in the Gai Waterhouse stable in Sydney. Gai and her owners set the bar pretty high though, and they'd won one or two with him but he had leg issues. They moved him on, so we thought he was worth a go," Walker said. "We've now won two with him because he also got the money back in June on the synthetic at Pakenham." Walker has strong family ties with harness racing, working with her late father, highly-respected and popular horseman Bill Walker for many years. Bill passed away in February last year-just a few days after Simone saddled up her very first gallops runner at Sale. Simone was the stable driver in the father-daughter combination, and a successful partnership it was. They had Lombo Skyrider (2001 Australian 2YO Pacer of the Year) as well as talented trotters Stoned At Midnight and Stoned I Am. In addition, they had multiple G1 winner and InterDominion runner-up Hectorjayjay who started his career with Bill Walker before being sold. "Stoned At Midnight was a ripper. She was just gorgeous and has gone on to be a good broodmare," Simone said "Dad used to do all the breaking-in, but now that's Andrew's job and he's very good. He works as a builder, but he loves the horses," she said. Simone and Andrew have some bright prospects in the harness racing ranks, headed by three-year-old Dennis William, a winner of five of his eight lifetime outings. "He is exceptional and should develop into a really nice horse," Simone said. "We've also got a good old boy and a favorite of mine in Reclusive. He's got some joint issues but has been in the placings at some recent Melton meetings." Reclusive is a winner of seven races for stakes of over $57,000. Talented, but unpredictable trotter Fend Off recently trialled impressively and Simone has her fingers crossed for an exciting campaign for the owners, the Cranbourne Club 21 syndicate. "He's got speed to burn, but really is a nut case. We got him quite tractable a while ago, but then he broke another bone in his leg and had to be tipped out," she said. "But he has come back in good order, so here's hoping!"   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

TRAINER Ryan Bell insists he’s still got some work to do with emerging WA star Shockwave. There were no histrionics or thrilling finish, more just a dominant, no-fuss win from Bell’s stable star at Gloucester Park last Friday night. In complete contrast to his dramatic first-up win over the mighty Chicago Bull, this time Shockwave led, settled better for driver Aiden De Campo, and won as he liked in the Media Guild Cup (2536m). The times were still slick with a 1min55.8sec mile rate and closing splits of 54.7 and 27.4sec. Watch the race replay click here. “He still got a bit keen in the middle stages. It only happen when he’s fresh so I’m going to have get some racing into now with those big Cup races not too far away,” Bell said. “He’s like King Kong around the place at home, too full of himself. He’ll definite go around again next week.” The race was made so much easier with the scratching of WA Pacing Cup winner Mighty Conqueror on he morning because of “minor soreness”, according to his trainer Greg Bond. Next week will see Shockwave lock horns with Chicago Bull again, following their epic battle won so narrowly by Shockwave a few weeks back. There was a golden moment during Bell’s pre-race interview at Gloucester Park last Friday with RWWA’s Tim Walker wen Chicago Bull’s driver, Gary Hall Jr, walked past and chirped: “He (Shockwave) won’t get it so easy next time.” It’s certainly exciting times in WA harness with the Fremantle and WA Cups just around the corner. __________________________________________________________________________________________ WHAT a shame it’s extremely unlikely King Of Swing will tackle the Victoria Cup. The Miracle Mile and Hunter Cup champion won as he liked and posted another sub-1min50sec mile at Menangle last night (Saturday). As we know, the strict COVID-19 border restrictions and King Of Swing’s “stallion tendencies” mean only a relaxing of the restrictions - and the chance for Luke McCarthy to head down with needing to quarantine afterwards – will see the star head to Victoria next week. King Of Swing’s record since being sent across from Perth to Sydney has been astonishing. His nine starts have returned seven wins, two seconds and almost $1 million in earnings. Six of his seven wins have been in sub-1min50sec and the other was in the Hunter Cup. Assuming he doesn’t get to Melbourne, King Of Swing’s next major aim will be the $175,000 Group 1 Blacks A Fake at Albion Park on December 12. He cruised to a 7.5m win over stablemates Replaced Eye and Bling It On in a 1min49.7sec mile last night, turning it into an 800m dash home with splits of 53.4 and 25.6sec. Bling It On finished a sound third at his second run back from a spell, showing he was on target for a trip south to defend the Victoria Cup crown he won last season  Accompanying Bling It On south will star stablemate Bettor Enforce for Victoria’s Mares’ Triple Crown. The former Kiwi mare continued her remarkable season with a gritty 1min49.8sec mile win over another classy former Kiwi, Havtime, at Menangle last night. Bettor Enforce heads south with a remarkable season so far of 21 starts for 10 wins, eight placings and more than $200,000 in earnings. __________________________________________________________________________________________ TALENTED former Kiwi horseman Jack Trainor is going it alone. Trainor has been in Australia for six years, spending almost the past five years working for Blake Fitzpatrick, has is trying his luck training in his own right. “I’m starting out small with five or so in work. I want to be able to spend time with them, but also get to all the meetings I’m driving at. The driving side of things is very busy at the moment,” Trainor said. “I’m lucky to be working in with Jack Grimson and his barn at the Menangle Training Centre.” __________________________________________________________________________________________ THE race to the NSW Breeders Challenge finals really takes shape at Menangle on Tuesday.  The nominal favourites for the two juvenile finals – Soho Almasi and Bar Room Banta – should win their respective qualifying heats. Both are trained by Mick Stanley in Victoria, but on loan to Craig Cross and Luke McCarthy for the series. Soho Almasi made it two wins from three starts when she resumed at Menangle on September 14 and won without being extended by 16.5m in a 1min52.7sec mile. Bar Room Banta also returned from a spell and made it two wins from three starts when worked to the front and blew away his rivals last Tuesday at Menangle to win by 26.4m in a 1min51.8sec mile. That’s just 0.5sec outside Ignatius’ Australasian 2YO mile record. “Mick’s a really good horseman and these are two very exciting youngtster,” McCarthy said. __________________________________________________________________________________________ FORGOTTEN young star Jilliby Nitro launches his comeback at Terang on Wednesday night. The son of Bettors Delight was last season’s Australian 2YO of the Year, courtesy of his eight starts returning six wins – including the Australian Gold and Bathurst Gold Crown finals – and two placings. Jilliby Nitro hasn’t raced since succumbing to injury after his third in the NSW Breeders Challenge final at Menangle on June 30. He showed trainer Marg Lee he was primed for a return with a sharp trial with star open-class stablemate Code Bailey at Terang last Saturday week. __________________________________________________________________________________________ IT’S a different season of course, but it’s still a mighty effort by three-year-old filly Pink Galahs to upstage the older mares, headed by the str Dance Craze, at Melton last night. Trained and driven by Matty Craven, Pink Galahs sat behind the leader Imsettogo and sprint-laned very strongly to hold-off the late surging Dance Craze and win well in a 1min59.3sec mile for 2240m.  Another star mare Red Hot Tooth had to sit parked and never shirked the issue, but had to be content with a close-up fourth. Pink Galahs, a daughter of Skyvalley, boasts nine wins and four placings from just 15 starts and will relish going back her own age in the upcoming Breeders Crown 3YO series. __________________________________________________________________________________________ TOP trainer David Aiken has a ripper barn at the moment. It’s been the lightly-raced and untapped Reactor Now stealing the limelight, but another four-year-old Malcolms Rhythm must be right up there with him for potential. Last season’s NSW Derby runner-up has been superbly nursed back from injury by Aiken and his narrow win was something to behold at Melton last night (Saturday). Just second-up from more than a year our, Malcolms Rhythm worked early, did some the one-one cover midrace, but dug really deep late to snatch a half-head win in a very slick 1min52.9sec mile rate for 1720m. “It’s a huge thrill to have him back so well. The aim is the Breeders Crown 4YO series now and we’ll try and make a Country Cups horse out of him,” driver Josh Aiken said.   by Adam Hamilton

LOCHINVAR Art is right where he needs to be for the $300,000 Victoria Cup on October 10. So trainer-driver David Moran looks set to skip next Saturday’s $50,000 Group 2 Smoken Up Sprint (1720m) at Melton and go straight into the Victoria Cup a week later. In a race run to suit a lot more than his recent runs, Lochinvar Art relished it and thrashed his rivals in last night’s Minuteman free-for-all (2240m) at Tabcorp Park Melton. He did his share of work at times, but just looked to do it so easily and in quick time. “He’s pretty much right where I want him now. He really just jogged that in tonight,” Moran said. “I’m leaning very heavily towards not running next week. I don’t think he’s needs another run.” So what about Ride High? With the camp bunkering-down since he was pulled out of the nominations and skipped the Minuteman free-for-all, we just hope all is well and he will tackle the Smoken Up this week. If he’s not in this week, it would mean four weeks between runs going into what shapes as an epic Victoria Cup. The spotlight will be on the Smoken Up field when it comes out around 1.30pm NZ time Tuesday. If Ride High is there, it could be his for the taking with no new stars expected in the sprint. Craig Cross’ big guns – Balraj, Cash N Flow, Alta Orlando and Bling It On - will go straight to the Victoria Cup. The only “new” runner he’s likely to have in the Smoken Up Sprint is renowned speedster Cruz, who has been freshened since a successful recent Queensland raid. _______________________________________________________________________________________________ CRUZ Bromac’s NZ Cup title defence looks unlikely after a disappointing comeback run against Lochinvar Art last night. Having his first run since the Auckland Cup last New Year’s Eve, Cruz Bromac made a midrace move around the field to find the lead, but was beaten before the final bend and tired to finish 30.3m behind Lochinvar Art in eighth spot. No doubt he’ll be improved by the run, but he’s a nine-year-old (NZ time) and it’s a big call to send him back across the Tasman unless he jumps out of the ground when/if he runs next, which would likely be in the Victoria Cup on October 10.   by Adam Hamilton

With a brilliant dash up the sprint lane three-year-old filly Pink Galahs bettered Australia’s leading trotting mares and delivered Matt Craven a victory dripping in sentimental delight. The trainer-driver dedicated the win to Pink Galahs’ part-owner Bryan Healy, son of Ric Healy, who produced the extraordinary Maori family that changed Australian trotting, which includes Sumthingaboutmaori after whom tonight’s race was named. “That’s one for Bryan in Queensland,” Craven told Trots Vision post-race. “I am sure he’s having kittens up there on the Gold Coast. “All his mates will be at the pub and to win a race named in the honour of his great mare (Sumthingaboutmaori), I’m sure he will be super thrilled tonight, as will Caleb (Lewis) and Laura (Lewis). They will be super excited and very proud of their little filly.” Bryan shares ownership of Pink Galahs with daughter Laura and her husband Caleb. The Skyvalley filly is out of Sweetasay, whose lines lead back three generations to Maori Mia, dam of Maori’s Idol, and a fourth generation to the great Maori Miss. Now Pink Galahs is writing an extraordinary new chapter of trotting success in the Maori family, having tonight registered her ninth win in just 15th starts, despite her last six starts having been run outside of her age group. “We were a bit concerned we had been way to easy on her and the reason she was here tonight was because we needed to get a run into her before the Oaks,” Craven said. “There’s not a lot of options for her, she’s put herself in this position basically because she’s been so good.” Tonight’s Aldebaran Park Sumthingaboutmaori Trotters Free For All was a whole nother level, with the likes of Dance Craze and Red Hot Tooth contesting for the Group 3 prize. Pink Galahs tagged on to the back of leader Imsettogo out of the gates, with Red Hot Tooth again doing heavy work in the breeze while Dance Craze loomed likely with her typical late run. But it was Craven’s runner, benefitting from a perfect run on the pegs, who had enough late zip and plenty in the tank to score by 2.1 metres. “Tonight we had the ideal trip in the box seat right behind the leader. Against this class of horse, stepping up against the older mares, super experience, well performed horses, she’s going to need that trip at the moment,” Craven said. “She’s probably all heart. Considering we have been so easy on her, she was great to the line and I think she will take a lot of benefit out of that. It’s a big thrill for me.” And it has the Terang trainer optimistic about his filly’s chances as the three-year-old classics near, beginning with the $60,000 TAB Victoria Trotters Oaks on October 17 at Melton. “It’s a great ride that she’s given us, hopefully we can take this form into the age feature races that are coming up, the Oaks, we could have a throw at the stumps at the Derby maybe,” Craven said. “Then we’ll just have the (Vicbred Super Series) in December.” And, if all goes well, the Great Southern Star? “Every time we’ve raised the bar she’s stepped up to it,” he said. “There’s one thing that we know: that she tries hard. She’s got good speed, you’d love to see her following the fence in a race like that. It wouldn’t be beyond her by any means.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Lochinvar Art is tuned to the minute for the Pryde’s EasiFeed Victoria Cup says trainer-driver David Moran, who will now decide whether to propel his stable star straight into the $300,000 feature or step out in next Saturday star-studded sprint. The four-year-old was in a class of his own in tonight’s quality TAB Minuteman Free For All, the headliner of a 10-race card as metropolitan racing returned to Tabcorp Park Melton. Lochinvar Art comfortably put paid to two highly-rated threats, Cruz Bromac and Zennart, who were both well below their best, before careering away to a 9.3-metre win ahead of Emma Stewart’s fast finishing Tam Major and Out To Play, and impressive Rackemup Tigerpie for Michael Stanley. “Going into last week he was probably just a little bit underdone for race fitness. He’s been super during the week and he was really good again tonight,” Moran told Trots Vision. His impressive performance has left the door ajar for the $50,000 TAB Smoken Up Sprint at Melton next Saturday, where he’d likely run into Ride High and potentially the likes of Cash N Flow. “He probably had the run tonight where he could nearly go around again next week and possibly just have him rock hard for the Vic Cup, but we need to work out whether we really want to have a speed burn next week for the sake of it,” Moran said. “If you draw bad again, he’s going to have a complete gut buster and you start to think is it necessary? We will sit down and figure out whether we go straight to the Vic Cup with a break or without a break. He’s going to be pretty forward now, good enough anyway.” Moran rated Lochinvar Art a “50-50 chance” to run next week and a 100 per cent chance to be choc full of confidence. “Over the past three years we’ve got to know him pretty well and all his little traits,” Moran said. “The harder the runs he gets the better he pulls up, so he’ll be pretty full of himself. “And then throughout the week he’s a bit similar, he gets very boisterous and can sometimes leave a little bit of tucker. “He just wants to get on with the job really. He’s happy to work, happy to be there, pretty playful, so that’s what we will mainly be looking for.” He was certainly happy to get on with the job tonight. A line of four met the first bend, with Im Sir Blake holding the front and holding out My Kiwi Mate in a 43.3-second lead time, with Craig Cross’s Zennart requiring a lot of urging from reinswoman Kerryn Manning to join the race. Despite Tayla French’s apparent willingness to cede the lead on Im Sir Blake, Zennart was bogged in the breeze until finally advancing when Cruz Bromac loomed to take the lead, tailed by Lochinvar Art who settled into the death for the final lap. Lochinvar Art put paid to first-up Cruz Bromac heading into the final turn, gapping all challengers to win comfortably. “There was probably a little bit more speed early than I thought there would be,” Moran said. “Tends to be some of those races, where there are some horses that are a little bit below the better ones, where you think it’s going to unfold pretty quick and everyone’s going to find a spot. “It didn’t, there was a bit of speed there early and then we had to chase through from the second row. The field opened up a fair bit and then Herby’s horse (My Kiwi Mate) made a little gait break there into the 1400. “Kez was left in the breeze and couldn’t find the front and he was a little bit reluctant to go old Zennart. It was a tricky race, but when we went the speed slackened and it was probably the right time to go and he did the rest.” And team Lochinvar Art marches on with big fish to fry in coming weeks. “It’s everyone’s dream really, I’m very grateful with the journey he’s taken me on so far," Moran said. "You dream of driving in those races or training those horses but it comes around very very rarely.”   HRV - Michael Howard

Breeding authority Peter Wharton presents all the harness racing news on breeding from Australia, New Zealand and North America every Friday brought to you by Garrard’s Horse & Hound NZ Sires Stakes winner The Pukekohe colt American Dealer, who firmly clinched his claim to being the best three-year-old colt of the season when he won the $128,800 Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final at Alexandra Park, is a member of one of NZ’s top ranking standardbred families. American Dealer, who has now won four races and $99,670, is a colt by the Western Ideal horse American Ideal, who stood his early seasons at Woodlands Stud and has been located at Northern Rivers Equine while at the stud in Victoria. American Ideal has been most successful in Australia. His stock include the champion Bling It On, the WA Pacing Cup winners Soho Tribeca, My Hard Copy and Mighty Conqueror, the brilliant but ill-fated Centenario and the Derby winner Ideal For Real. American Dealer                                                         --Megan Liefting/Race Images photo   American Dealer is out of Maddison’s Delight, by Bettor’s Delight from Pacing Grace 1:57.7 (8 wins), a North Island bred mare by In The Pocket from Jessie Grace, by Vance Hanover, and tracing to the taproot Verity (by Vancleve). Pacing Grace was the dam of two high class pacers in Pacing Major (1:52), a winner of 19 races and $621,436, and All U Need Is Faith 1:49.8 ($326,114), a good winner in NZ and America.  Other daughters of Pacing Grace also bred on with marked successes. Grace Way (1:56.8) became the dam of the Victoria HRSC 3YO Cup winner Three Ways 1:54.1 ($219,949), the Redcliffe Derby winner Make Way 1:51.7 ($148,095) and Forgotten Highway 1:55.6 ($147,019).  Pacing Delight, a sister to Maddison’s Delight, left a Group 2 winning juvenile in Virgil 1:52.3 ($121,741), the Menangle winner Mason’s Delight (1:51.9) and recent Addington three-year-old winner Aladdin. American Dealer is a half-brother to the thrice Gloucester Park winner Sweet Maddison (1:57.1).   Call Me Hector star sprinter Call Me Hector advanced strong claims to being the best sprint pacer in Tasmania today when he scored a record-breaking win in the Free-for-all at Launceston last Sunday. Call Me Hector carved out the 1680 metres 1:59.4, a rate of 1:54.4 - 0.2 inside the previous track standard. He also holds the Hobart track record of 1:54.3 set 12 months earlier. Call Me Hector                                                                        --tasracing.com.au   It was his sixth win for the season. At his previous start he disposed of Ryley Major and others, and earlier in the year he won at Melton in 1:55.2. Call Me Hector has not done a great deal of racing, having averaged 11 starts a season. In four seasons of racing Call Me Hector has won 19 races and has been 16 times placed from 58 starts for $129,856. By champion sire Art Major, he is out of Lady Jillett Lombo, by Mach Three from Lady Titian Lombo (1:59.4), by Fake Left from Titian Annie, by Big Band Sound. Call Me Hector is a half-brother to the former top racemare Call Her Julie 1:56.2 ($172,428) and recent Cranbourne winner Groom (1:57.3).   Well related three-year-old filly Artemis, who downed a strong field of three-year-olds at Menangle last weekend, is a Mach Three filly from the same family as that which produced a champion New Zealand pacer in Courage Under Fire. It was her third success at the Sydney headquarters track. She is a filly by the Matt’s Scooter horse, Mach Three, from Eyre To The Throne (1:58.9), the best of whose several progeny have been the Breeders Crown winner Cyclone Kate 1:50.3 ($341,723) and the NZ Kindergarten winner Cyclone Prince 1:57.1 ($131,057). Eyre To The Throne ranks as a sister to the prolific Menangle winner Passion Stride 1:53.4 ($162,028), being by Presidential Ball from the In The Pocket mare Erin Brockovich, a full sister to Courage Under Fire, the winner of a record six Derbies, and Advance Attack, a former to Kiwi juvenile who is now at the stud in WA.   Fifth on end The Western Districts gelding Jilliby Sylvester, who is being aimed at the forthcoming three-year-old classics, extended his unbeaten winning sequence to five at the Horsham midweek meeting. He is by the Cam’s Card Shark horse Roll With Joe, sire of the record-breaking juvenile Ignatius. Jilliby Sylvester’s dam, Jilliby Opal, was unraced, being by Artsplace from Jilliby Gold 1:59 ($183,394), a top racemare whose 24 successes included the Queen of the Pacific, and by What’s Next, a world champion and highly successful sire. Jilliby Gold, the dam also of a capable pacer in Jilliby Rio 1:55.8 (27 wins and $214,755), was a half-sister to the Nyah Cup and USA winner Jilliby Spirit 1:50.2 ($495,022), the Melton winner Jilliby Master (1:55.4) and others in Jilliby Lightning (1:57.2) and Jilliby Jet (1:57.8). Their dam, Jilliby Diamond, who left nine winners, was by the Inter Dominion winner Koala King from Jilliby Dollar, by the dual Derby winner Royal Dollar. Jilliby Sylvester is a member of Marg Lee’s team.   Broodmare double The Art Major mare Glenferrie Shuffle 1:57 ($279,839), a former Breeders Crown 2YO champion, left two winners in the space of 24 hours. Her first two foals, Zanadu (by Bettor’s Delight) and Kezzamac (by Well Said), won at Menangle and Canberra respectively. Zanadu, who went in 1:55.3, has now won five races, while the three-year-old Kezzamac has won twice. Glenferrie Shuffle, a winner of 13 races, is out of a fine racemare in Hot Shoe Shuffle 1:57.9 ($295,011), by Falcon Seelster from Off Beat, by Vance Hanover from Broken Drum, by Lordship from the Smooth Fella mare Berndon Star (2:02.8), a half-sister to the Victoria Derby winner Smooth Falcon. Glenferrie Shuffle is a half-sister to the Menangle winner Jivin Cullen 1:54 ($190,713), the exported Joshua Mac 1:57.8 ($107,760), Sem’s Delight (1:57) and Hotinthecitytonite (1:58.8), dam of the Melton and Albury String of Pearls victor Delightful Jazz 1:54 ($105,600).   Star three-year-old by Sportswriter James Rattray, who brought out champions in Beautide and Ignatius, has a smart three-year-old in Jimartee racing at present. He downed a strong field in a heat of the NSW Breeders Challenge at Penrith, rating 1:53.9 over 1720 metres – only 0.3 outside Ignatius’s track record. Earlier in the season he won the Young Derby and from 20 starts he has won seven times and been six times placed for $75,600 in stakes. Jimartee ranks as a half-brother to a handy pacer in Vienna Boy (1:52.6), being a gelding by the Artsplace horse, Sportswriter, from Vienna Bromac, by Courage Under Fire from Universal Woman, by Caprock from Winsome Tricks, by Overtrick from Winsome Glow, dam of the Kaikoura Cup winner Franco Whisper. Vienna Bromac, who won four races at Menangle and took a record of 1:54, was a half-sister to the good NZ and Albion Park winner Amysteriouseagle (2:00.8). This is the family of the Breeders Crown champion Just Cala, Classiesistar (1:51.8), Sir Clive (NZ Kindergarten), Posh Jaccka (Vic. Gold Chalice), Adda Rising Star and others.   Tailored Elegance bred to be top trotter Tailored Elegance, who is proving herself a star juvenile trotter, has won three of her last five starts including a runaway success at Bendigo last Saturday when having only her second start on Australian soil. Tailored Elegance                          -HRNZ   She is a three-year-old filly by Muscle Hill, sire of Australia’s top trotting mare in Dance Craze, out of the Armbro Invasion mare Classic Armbro (Tr 2:07.2), a winning daughter of the former NZ trotting queen Merinai Tr 2:00.8 ($244,155). Besides Classic Armbro, Merinai, who won three Group 1 races, is also the dam of the smart NSW square-gaiter Sunny Elegant Tr 1:57.2 ($102,330), Miss Pegasus, who won nine and $86,391), Wingsonhai (7 wins) and Madam Spur (5 wins).  Merinai is the grand-dam of the NSW Foundation Series and Bathurst Gold Coronet winner Pegasus Elegance Tr 1:54.6 ($128,060), the prolific Melton winner Pretty Sunday Tr 1:57.4 ($175,182), Sonofanearl Tr 2:00.6 ($117,798), Rosemma (Lyn McPherson Memorial) and the Maori Legend victor Aldebaran Shelly. Tailored Elegance is a sister to the promising youngster I See Fire and a half-sister to Sertorius Tr 1:58.6 (8 wins and $116,898) and the Victorian winner Popcorn Sutton.   Henrik Larsson unbeaten three-year-old Henrik Larsson, who beat a useful field at Gloucester Park last Friday and is undefeated in four starts, gives the impression that he could develop into one of next season’s top four-year-olds. Bred in New Zealand, Henrik Larsson is a big, muscular colt by Art Major from No Mas (2:00.8), a lightly raced mare by Badlands Hanover from Sammi Franco, by Falcon Seelster from the NSW bred Stormy Pat, a sister to the glamour filly Eva Thor, the winner of 15 races as a two and three-year-old including the Raith Memorial and National Stallion Stakes. No Mas, who won twice, figures as a half-sister to a grand WA pacer and cups winner in Our Jimmy Johnstone 1:53.5 ($778,635), the Harold Park winner Fast Sticks (1:59) and to Sevenspanishangels, dam of the Wanganui Cup winner Thunderfromthethrone. Henrik Larsson is the first foal of his dam. A champion pacer in Don’t Retreat belongs to this family. He won a record 26 races at Harold Park and qualified for three Inter Dominion finals and in all won 54 races and $340,317 in stakes. Alecane (NSW Cannonball Stakes and ID heat), Seaswift Joy (1:50), NZ 3YO of the Year Kotare Legend and Majestic Major are among many good winning members of Henrik Larsson’s family, which has produced to pacers in both NZ and Australia.   Blue blooded filly Rogue Wave, who scored a commanding win in a slick 1:54.3 at her first start at the Shepparton midweek meeting, is a two-year-old filly who can claim some worthwhile blood. By Somebeachsomewhere, by Mach Three from Where’s The Beach, by Beach Towel, she is out of the Live Or Die mare Perfect Life, whose dam, Secret Life (1:58.6), ranked as a sister to Royal Crime 1:55.7 ($100,753) and a half-sister to the Southern Cross winners Lovelist 1:53.2 ($222,889) and Punch Line (1:54.2) and to the Modern Art mare Modern Life, dam of Rising Stars winner Ample Power 1:55.6 ($107,825). Lovelist became the dam of this year’s unbeaten two-year-old filly Treachery, winner of the $100,000 The Allwood. Their dam, Lifeline, was a half-sister to the Hunter Cup winner Safe And Sound ($995,606), Gold Rocket (1:51), Massarua (1:55.8) and The Good Times (1:54.4).     by Peter Wharton

Champion South Australian harness racing brothers Darren and Mark Billinger are racking up the miles for a great cause - and have put out the call to industry participants to quickly get on board. The pair have been wearing the Prostate Cancer colors during September as part of harness racing's drive to build awareness about the disease which kills more than 3000 Australian men each year. As Prostate Cancer Awareness Month ambassadors, the brothers' roles include stressing the importance for men over 50 to take regular medical check-ups as the best method of early detection of prostate cancer. "As drivers, there's no way of avoiding the annual check-up, because we have to pass the medical tests annually to get our licences renewed," Mark said. "But even then, it's worth checking with your GP about any extra check-ups you might need as the years go on. This is something I'll certainly be doing in the future," he said. Statistics show that prostate cancer kills more than 50 men each week in Australia with more than 16,000 new cases recorded annually. As well as awareness, a key focus of Prostate Cancer Month is to raise funds for research and to assist men and families impacted by the disease and HRSA and SA Botra have joined forces to support the cause. A call went out for people to sponsor the Billingers by pledging an amount for every kilometre they drive in races during the month. In the previous three months, Darren averaged 23 kilometres in race drives, while Mark, a top freelancer in his home state, averaged 62 kilometres. "There have been a few things happening to get people on board, but there's only a week or so left, so we're wanting to encourage the harness racing family to get involved by making donations to the cause," Mark said. "COVID's made it tough and we only race probably twice a week, but we've been doing our best. I've been getting a few drives from my regular trainers, but Darren's been a bit light on," Mark said. So far, Mark has "travelled" over 16 kms during which time he's collected six wins from 20 driving engagements. Darren has done 6.7kms for one win from eight drives. All donations over $2 are tax deductible and can remain anonymous if requested. South Australian people have been asked to click onto www.mycause.com.au. Other donations can be made at https://www.pcfa.org.au/   Terry Gange NewsAlert PR Mildura

REIGNING NZ Cup champion Cruz Bromac launches a campaign aimed at defending his crown when he tackles a strong Minuteman free-for-all (2240m) at Melton tomorrow (Saturday) night. It’s his first run since being sidelined with a fetlock injury after the Auckland Cup last New Year’s Eve. Managing owner Danny Zavitsanos is thrilled to have him back at the track and expects a bold showing despite a back row draw (gate 10) and quality opposition, headed by Lochinvar Art (gate 11) and Zennart (seven). “Amanda (Grieve) and Dean (Braun) think he’s at least as well, if not better, than the same time last year, which is great to hear,” he said. “We’re sure he’ll run well this week and then it’s into the Victoria Cup two weeks later. “All going well in these two runs and I told Mark (Purdon) he’ll be back to over to him to get ready for the (NZ Cup) again.” Zavitsanos, who “lit-up” Addington with his post-race celebrations last year, said Cruz Bromac was booked to return. “He’s booked with IRT for the 12th or 14th (of October), so we just need to be happy with his next two runs and he’ll head back over. It’s just a shame we won’t be able to go with him because it’s such a special day,” he said. Champion driver Chris Alford is aboard Cruz Bromac for his return, which is a vote of confidence given he’d been approached to drive Craig Cross’ Zennart and one of their many runners in the Victoria Cup. Kerryn Manning has picked-up the Zennart drive. Lochinvar Art, who smashed the clock when a monstrous second to Hurricane Harley, has been backed from $1.80 into $1.60 to atone tomorrow night. Zennart has firmed from $4.80 into $4.60 second elect, while Cruz Bromac is next ($4.60 out to $5).   by Adam Hamilton

The WA Trotting Media Guild Cup (2536m) and the Group 3 The Warwick Pace (2130m) headline a stellar 11-event card at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Shockwave, after drawing the pole, seems to have a mortgage on the cup but the Warwick Pace is an open affair, despite the presence of Victorian three-year-old Soho Hamilton, who is taking on older horses. Members of the Guild have agreed and disagreed on a couple of races when selecting their best bets for the meeting. Radio Great Southern’s form analyst Warren Wishart and longshot king Pat Harding believe Our Alfie Romeo can win. “My best bet comes up in race nine with No. 8 Our Alfie Romeo,” Wishart said. “She’s a classy mare who looks well placed here despite the wide draw. Should be too good.“ And Harding agrees. “Looks like another good night coming up for the Bond camp this Friday night,” Harding said. “However, I do think there might be some value in some of the races, but it still could be a tough night for punters and tipsters alike. My best bet comes up with the Bond-trained Our Alfie Romeo. She has been so consistent in her recent races and even though she has drawn the outside barrier, I think she will prevail in the small field.“ The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft is keen on Kiwi Bloke in the stand. “Kiwi Bloke returns to standing-start conditions where he has been ultra-consistent of late,” Havercroft said. “The son of Courage Under Fire hasn’t missed the placings at his last five tries from behind the strands and his main rival this week, The Buckeye Bullet, gives away a 20-metre advantage under handicap conditions.” However, veteran trotting journalist Ken Casellas holds a different view. “Four-year-old The Buckeye Bullet has a 55 per cent winning average and I’m making him my best bet on Friday night when he has the speed and strength to overcome the 20-metre handicap in the 2503m stand,” Casellas said. “The New Zealand-bred gelding has resumed after a spell in fine fettle with two wins and a fighting second when not enjoying any luck when outsprinted late by Just Wing It at Pinjarra on Monday.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on My Carbon Copy. “The Gary Hall-trained My Carbon Copy will appreciate a sharp class drop after running third behind star stablemate Chicago Bull in last Friday night’s $50,000 Navy Cup,” Manning said. “Four-year-old My Carbon Copy set the pace and won impressively two weeks ago. The gelding is a brother to $1.2 million stake-earner My Hard Copy and he appears to have inherited plenty of the family’s abilty.” TABradio’s Matt Young has made El Jacko his best for the night. “El Jacko was a slashing run first-up in free-for-all company, powering home as an eye-catcher,” Young said. “He drops considerably in grade and in the small field can sit anywhere in the run and round them up to win. I’m very keen.“ Guild president Wayne Currall believes he’s found some value in his star bet. “On a terrific program of harness racing, I’ve opted for Jack William as my best for the evening,” Currall said. “The Nathan Turvey-trained pacer goes well for young Emily Suvaljko, as was shown last Friday when the horse did a sterling job to stick on for second after racing in the breeze outside eventual winner A Boy Named Rosie. Jack William will have to do it tough again, but he’s got the strength to cover this field.” VALUE BETS WARREN: The Verandah gets a nice draw here and will settle on speed. Think the market will underestimate his chances. PAT: My value bet comes up in race three with No. 2 Henwood Bay. He hasn’t had much luck in recent races but barrier two gives him a great opportunity and he should be at good value. RYAN: Chiaroscuro will have the sit on Shockwave’s back in the Media Guild Cup. If Shockwave opens the field up like he did in the James Brennan Memorial, then Colin Brown should have Chiaroscuro well placed to take advantage. KEN: For value, I suggest Askmeilltellya in race seven in which she will need to overcome the disadvantage of a wide draw at barrier eight. She is racing keenly and possesses a strong finishing burst. ERNIE: El Jacko has won only once in his past 17 starts, but looked set for a propsperous campaign when he ran a first-up sixth from gate eight in last week’s Navy Cup. He has won 23 races, including 14 at Gloucester Park. MATT: Destined To Rule is in great form, he just needs to find a position from gate three to play a big part in the second race. WAYNE: Disco Under Fire can run a cheeky race at each-way odds in the stand. Gary Hall Jr will be looking to tuck the horse in behind likely leader Kiwi Bloke. From an ideal trailing position he could finish well when the sprint goes on. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good punting.    Wayne Currall

After notching in excess of one hundred winners a season for the past eight seasons, Chris Voak chalked up his 200th victory for the 2019-20 season when he set the pace with the Ross Olivieri-trained gelding Diamond Life and scored a two-length victory over Change Of Address in a 2536m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. He has six drives at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and he rates the Olivieri-trained Queen Shenandoah as his best winning prospect. Queen Shenandoah will start from barrier five in the TABtouch Pace in which she will clash with quality mares Our Alfie Romeo and Miss Sangrial. Queen Shenandoah caught the eye in a similar 2130m events for fillies and mares last Friday night when she began from the outside barrier (No. 9) and was tenth and last at the bell before surging home powerfully, five wide, to finish fourth behind Has No Fear. “That was her first run for a fortnight and I expect her to go better this week, backing up from last week’s run,” said Voak. Of his other runners this week, Voak gives Rock Me Over (race three), Askmeilltellya (seven) and Kiwi Bloke (eight) an each-way chance. “Rock Me Over has a middle of the road draw (barrier four) and he will need to be in his best form to win,” he said. “But he normally goes well when I drive him. “Askmeilltellya is going well and has a good chance, even from the bad draw (No. 8), while Kiwi Bloke, from the inside of the front line in the stand, appeals as a top four chance.”   Ken Casellas

Star reinsman Ryan Warwick should send punters home on a winning note at Gloucester Park on Friday night by guiding polemarker Give Us A Wave to an all-the-way victory in the eleventh event, the 2130m Off The Track–More Than Just A Racehorse Pace. He had the choice of the four two-year-olds trained by Greg and Skye Bond, and he chose Give Us A Wave ahead of Jett Star (Dylan Egerton-Green), Be Rock Hard (Deni Roberts) and Squinta (Colin Brown). Four of the five runners in the race Give Us a Wave, Jett Star and Be Rock Hard and Lavra Joe, owned and trained by Ray Jones, will be racing first-up after a spell, with Squinta making his second appearance after a spell. Warwick, who has landed 224 winners this season, picked Give Us A Wave, a winner at two of his eight starts, mainly because the Mach Three colt gave such an excellent performance at his latest outing when he raced wide early from barrier six, took the lead after 550m and was beaten into second place by the fast-finishing Mighty Ronaldo in the group 1 Golden Slipper on July 10. Warwick has driven The New Zealand-bred Bettors Delight colt Jett Star in all of his six starts for five wins and a sixth placing in the Golden Slipper at his most recent outing after he settled in eighth position and moved to fifth, out wide, at the bell before finishing 11 metres behind Mighty Ronaldo. Be Rock Hard, a winner at Pinjarra, Northam and Bunbury in June-July, has been handled by Warwick in all of his five starts. Lavra Joe is a talented colt who has raced 15 times for six wins and four placings. He will be having his first start after finishing eighth in the Golden Slipper. With Chris Lewis in the sulky, Lavra Joe will start from the No. 3 barrier with two Bonds runners on his inside and two on his outside. Jones has him primed for a strong first-up effort after two recent splendid trials at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park. Last Sunday week, driven by Lewis, Lavra Joe ran home strongly to win a 2100m trial by almost three lengths from Elsu You, rating 1.59.2 after sprinting the final 400m in 27.9sec. Then, on the following Wednesday Ash Markham drove Lavra Joe to a 60-metre victory over Reddington Reactor, rating 1.59.8 over 2100m with final quarters of 31.5sec., 29.9sec., 29sec. and 27.4sec.   Ken Casellas

Handy WA-bred five-year-old Liam Neil was sold a few months ago and looks hard to beat at his first start for champion trainer Gary Hall Snr when he starts from the No. 3 barrier in the opening event, the Friendly Eric Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Liam Neil has impressed in two recent Byford trials and is capable of ending a 13-month drought and a losing sequence of nine. Two Sundays ago Liam Neil was a sound third behind Mister Bushido and Mattjestic Star in a 2150m Byford trial when the winner rated 1.57.5 and the final three quarters whizzed by in 28.8sec., 29.3sec. and 28.5sec. Then, last Sunday he was smartest into stride from barrier three before Gary Hall Jnr took the sit behind open-class performer Im Soxy 400m after the start. Hall eased Liam Neil off the pegs with 550m to travel and the Modern Art gelding ran home determinedly to finish just a head behind Im Soxy, with the final quarter in a slick 27.6sec. “I thought he went okay in the first trial and would benefit from it and he went better again last Sunday,” said Hall. Hall is sure to be keen to set the pace with Liam Neil, who has led and won at seven of his 13 career victories. Hall, who has driven 191 winners this season, has ten drives on the 11-event program, including two promising young pacers from Justin Prentice’s Boyanup stable --- Broadbeach in the NYE at Gloucester Park Pace for three-year-old fillies and Always An Honour in the www.gloucesterpark.com.au Pace. The New Zealand-bred Broadbeach has won at her first two Australian starts in modest company, at Narrogin and Bunbury earlier this month. Broadbeach will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. “This will be a test for her,” said Hall. “She went pretty good at Narrogin (winning by seven and a half lengths) and then she set the pace and kept waiting for them (her rivals) before beating Gov Starzzz by less than a length. She is probably better off coming from behind at this stage.” Broadbeach is likely to meet with stiff opposition from Askmeilltellya (barrier eight), Intheskyrocket (nine) and Red Hot Lady (six), a trio of fillies who are in splendid form. Always An Honour is an Art Major four-year-old who will start from the No. 2 barrier in the 2130m tenth event on the program. He has won at 12 of his 28 starts and this will be his first appearance for 16 weeks. “He was a lot better the last time he raced than we thought he was going to be,” said Hall. “He just kept taking the next step.” Always An Honour and the polemarker and likely leader Roman Aviator will have admirers, but the race appears likely to develop into a serious contest between Patrickthepiranha and El Jacko. Four-year-old Patrickthepiranha, trained and driven by Colin Brown, will be having his third start after an absence of eight months and is sure to prove hard to beat after his excellent second to My Carbon Copy last Friday week when he raced in the breeze and fought on solidly. Seven-year-old El Jacko, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, resumed after a four-month absence last Friday night when he was eleventh at the bell before finishing strongly, out five wide, to be sixth behind Chicago Bull in last week’s Navy Cup. All runners to be driven by Hall will have a good following, with The Verandah (race six), My Carbon Copy (four), Mister Bushido (two) and Extreme Prince (three) all appearing to have sound each-way prospects.   Ken Casellas

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