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The Southern Bred Southern Reared breeding group received a real boost on Friday night when two horses bred by the group quinellaed the Group One $300,000 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park in Perth. My Field Marshal bred by Syd and Shona Brown of Mosgiel won the race by 1.2 metres, beating Galactic Star which was bred by Tuapeka Lodge in Lawrence. Some talk beforehand asserted that My Field Marshal wasn’t a true stayer but part owner Syd Brown was quick to dismiss it. And the Art Major entire proved that he can definitely stay, giving a dominating performance in front. “People make talk like that. You ask any good trainer or driver they’ll tell you that a sub 1-50 mile horse (like My Field Marshal) can’t do that (run a fast mile) unless they can stay,” he said. Trained by ex-pat Tim Butt and driven by his brother Anthony, Brown says their comments after the run were very positive. “They were thrilled. They did expect him to improve on his first run up and they’re confident that he can improve on that run again.” The win was My Field Marshal’s twenty sixth, elevated his stakes to close to 1.5 million dollars and he gets a chance to add to that tally in this Friday’s $450,000 Group One West Australia Cup on the same track. Brown has a three quarter brother to My Field Marshal entered in next month’s NZB Standardbred Yearling Sale in Christchurch. He’s by Art Major out of Washington VC mare Ednalea which is a full-sister to Foreal the dam of My Field Marshal. “He’s just a strong Art Major colt. He’s not too big, not too small and he’s very wide in the front with a good strong head but people need to look at that themselves rather than hear an owner tell them that.” SBSR horses have won the Fremantle Cup three times in the last four years with Chicago Bull winning the race in 2017 and Beaudiene Boaz in 2016. Another SBSR horse I’m Themightyquinn won the race in 2011. Im Themightyquinn in 2011 and Chicago Bull in 2017 won the prized Gloucester Park double: the Fremantle and West Australia Cup. Meanwhile former Southlander Graham Cooney bred two of the winners at the Bay Of Plenty Harness meeting at Te Aroha yesterday. Cooney now resides in Tauranga and he bred Misty Memory and Comic Book Hero which are both out of Deja Vous. Both horses were originally trained by Hamish Hunter at Ryal Bush. He won two races with each horse. Comic Book Hero is now trained by Ray Darby at Patumahoe while Misty Memories is trained at Tuapaki by Frank Cooney and Tate Hopkins.   Bruce Stewart

East coast visitor My Field Marshal has taken out another sensational edition of the Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park last night. The reigning Miracle Mile winner had to survive a number of challenges from some of the Greg and Skye Bond-trained runners throughout the Group 1 event, but was able to fight all of them off. Reinsman Anthony Butt was able to cross Saying Grace from barrier two and find the lead with ease and control the race from there. The first of the Bond runners to make an aggressive move was Vampiro, with reinsman Colin Brown finding the breeze at the end of the first lap. Dylan Egerton-Green then made a move to the breeze with Our Max Phactor and continued to put the pressure on the short-price favourite. The leading chance from the Bond stable Galactic Star then made a three-wide move approaching the bell for reinsman Ryan Warwick and looked to be travelling strongly. My Field Marshal was able to hold off Galactic Star in the closing stages though and win by a metre to Galactic Star, while Vultan Tin was third. Saying Grace finished fourth, but appeared to have little luck in the home straight. El Jacko’s reinsman Nathan Turvey was suspended for 23 days for his drive in the $300,000 event. My Field Marshal 1.55.6 for the feature event and ran home in 58.0. The seven-year-old will now look to complete a clean sweep of the WA feature events when he lines up in next week’s $450,000 TABtouch-WA Pacing Cup (2936m). He also took out the Village Kid Pace a fortnight ago. Elsewhere on the night, Im Full Of Excuses took out the Listed Free-For-All event, producing a tough performance when three-wide for much of the last lap. Reinsman Gary Hall Jnr recorded a winning double with Bronze Seeker and impressive three-year-old Dracarys.   Tim Walker

When Anthony Butt guided My Field Marshal to victory over Galactic Star and Vultan Tin in last night’s $300,000 Retravision Group One Fremantle Cup he continued the remarkable record in the race for one of the most under-rated sires in the Southern Hemisphere. My Field Marshal is the second foal from the three-time Group One winning mare Foreal, a daughter of the imported American stallion Washington VC which is currently standing his 19th season at Brydone, just north of Edendale (population 600) in the deep south of New Zealand. Washington VC is well known in Perth having sired five successive Fremantle Cup winners in the nine runnings of the race before last night courtesy of Im Themightyquinn (2010, 2011 & 2012), Dasher VC (2013) and Im Victorious (2014). His Fremantle Cup winning record rose to six in ten years last night with his first broodmare siring credit courtesy of My Field Marshal. Washington VC has never stood anywhere other than at Keith and Tracey Norman’s Bryleigh Stud and semen from the stallion is rarely if ever made available for transport. In fact there are just two Australian bred progeny of Washington VC – both foals from mares imported in foal to the stallion. The Norman’s loyalty to their stallion has seen them refuse approaches from Australia to move the stallion across the Tasman. The Norman’s love the son of Presidential Ball with a passion and it is little wonder as the 391 winners he has sired to date have between them won a remarkable 28 Group One races. Unlike a lot of the high profile stallions brought to the Southern Hemisphere from North America, Washington VC could best be described as moderately performed with a record of eight wins from a 30 start career with earnings of $560,984. His biggest win came in the Adios Stake as a 3yo but he clearly has the invisible genetic marker that differentiates between good and great sires and his first crop of 79 foals, born in 2001, produced 30 individual winners including Foreal – the dam of My Field Marshal. Foreal won both a NSW Oaks and Great Northern Oaks before winning a NSW Ladyship Mile on her way to 18 wins and stakes of $664,800. Washington VC stands for a moderate $3,000 plus GST but if West Australians want to access this remarkable sire then be prepared to ship your mare to the Southland of New Zealand and to buy them a heavy rug before they go.   Alan Parker

When Rocknroll Lincoln lines up in this Friday night’s Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m), it will deliver his owner Glen Mortimer his proudest moment in a sport he has held dear to him for more than 40 years. Mortimer will have a dual role to play in Friday night’s feature, as an owner of a runner in the $300,000 event, as well as being the major sponsor of the race with Retravision. Mortimer recalls spending a countless number of hours at Richmond Raceway as a teenager, where his love for Harness Racing grew. “I used to go and watch trials at Richmond Raceway when horses like Mount Eden were racing,” he said. “My parents often played tennis at a tennis court across the road from the Raceway, so I would sneak across and watch Mount Eden trial. “Watching participants like Fred Kersley and Chris Lewis and horses like James Eden, Binshaw then Preux Chevalier and Village Kid, I thought it was a great spectacle. “Seeing the horses go around the track two or three times a race and being really close to the action, it’s exhilarating.” Mortimer first got involved in ownership as an 18-year-old and said he has now had more than 150 winners as an owner, the highlight of those being Kim Prentice’s Breeders’ Stakes winner Absolutely Ruthless. The success with Absolutely Ruthless prompted Mortimer to continue investing in the industry, which has also provided a few speed bumps for him along the way. “I had a horse called Alberta Retreat, who was beaten as a $1.30 favourite in the WA Derby,” he said. “He won eight of his first nine starts and we thought he was a real good one. “Since then, we have tried to get that really good horse. “I had one win an Easter Cup, but he hurt his leg and we lost him. “That kept me motivated to find a really good one.” The persistence and patience Mortimer has shown to try and get ‘the good one’ is now a realistic chance to pay off over the next fortnight. Rocknroll Lincoln has emerged as a genuine Fremantle Cup contender over the past month, taking out the Bunbury Cup and a Free-For-All at Gloucester Park. It was a ride that Mortimer almost wasn’t a part of. Mortimer had a small team of pacers with Rocknroll Lincoln’s trainer Justin Prentice a couple of years ago, a team he was happy to keep small. When Prentice went to New Zealand in 2017, he called Mortimer to try and get him involved in the son of Rocknroll Hanover. “I had four or five horses with Justin and I said to him ‘I’ll sit with what I’ve got’,” Mortimer said. “He called me from New Zealand and said ‘I know you’re not interested in getting anymore horses, but just watch the video on this link and let me know what you think’. “I was taken with his gate speed, so I called Justin straight back and told him that I’d be in. “I called up another mate after that and said ‘I’ve just bought the best horse I’ll ever have’.” In a further boost for Rocknroll Lincoln’s Fremantle Cup prospects, champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has elected to stick with him instead of his father Gary Hall Snr’s horse Runrunjimmydunn. The five-year-old will start from barrier four in the Fremantle Cup, with short price favourite My Field Marshal to start from barrier two. Mortimer said it would be a tough task for Rocknroll Lincoln to beat My Field Marshal, the fastest horse in Australasia, but was elated with Hall Jnr sticking by his charge. “Junior is worth two or three lengths because he’s the best in the sport,” he said. “I would’ve thought he’d bustle him out of the gate and maybe get to the breeze and see what happens from there. “My Field Marshal is an outstanding horse and he’s drawn very well. “Galactic Star was unlucky in the Inter Dominion where he stormed home and ran sixth.” After years of watching the champions win one of the state’s biggest races in the sport he loves, Mortimer said he was daring to dream about having his own horse win it. “It’s one of the great time-honoured events in WA pacing,” he said. “Last year we had one of the greatest races of all time at Gloucester Park with Lazarus and My Hard Copy. “It would be one of the biggest thrills in life…I love Harness Racing. “I’d love to be up there on Friday night handing myself the trophy.” Rocknroll Lincoln is on the fourth line of betting with TABtouch for the Fremantle Cup at $12, with Miracle Mile and Village Kid Sprint winner My Field Marshal rated a $1.50 chance.   Tim Walker

If the old adage there are no certainties in harness racing was ever in question, then last nights $300,000 Fremantle Pacing Cup is surely one of the better candidates to prove the saying is right on the money.  After declaring Lazarus unbeatable in the race, driver Mark Purdon was forced to sit three wide the entire race outside the leaders, eventually going down by a narrow margin in what was a herculean performance by the kiwi champion. This was probably one of the greatest performances ever seen at Gloucester Park. Trainer Gary Hall Snr had three horses in the race and rated Chicago Bull the best of them. He was not mincing his words before the race declaring Lazarus would not get his own way.  “Going forward, that’s the plan,” Hall Snr said.. "Chicago Bull will go forward and if Bettors Fire (barrier one) doesn’t hand up, we will keep the breeze and keep Lazarus three wide when he comes", he said. “Everyone has got Lazarus past the post and If we just let him go to the breeze, the race will develop into a walk with a sprint home and Chicago Bull can’t win then. We can’t make it easy for Lazarus. My owners don’t want to make it easy for him. I think Chicago Bull can win, but he will need a lot of luck." Those words came to fruition last night and another Gary Hall Snr trained runner My Hard Copy who sat on the back of Lazarus stormed home to win the cup by a head. My Hard Copy driven by Clinton Hall became the 11th millionaire produced in the world for the stallion American Ideal.  Lazarus was monstrous in defeat and Chicago Bull was good also. He posted Lazarus out three wide and stuck on bravely for third. Ultimate Machete could be considered unlucky sitting in the 1x1 behind Chicago Bull but getting room too late for driver Natalie Rasmussen and running home up the inside for fourth. He was examined by the vet and stood down immediately after the race. Harnesslink Media My Hard Copy - Fremantle Cup 5 7:44pm RETRAVISION FREMANTLE PACING CUP MS PACE (SKY 1) 2536M $300,000 M0 Or Better. RBD. Mobile Results Pl  Horse Prize- money   Row & Br TAB # Trainer Driver (C = Concession) Mgn (m) Starting odds Stewards' Comments  1 MY HARD COPY NZ      Fr6 6 Gary Hall Snr Clinton Hall   $ 53.80   COTFB PRBT RAS W2 3WMLT SWAB   BAY HORSE 8 by AMERICAN IDEAL USA out of READALLABOUTIT (NZ) (PRESIDENTIAL BALL USA)  Owner(s): S K Chapman, C Chapman, D Chapman  Breeder(s): Woodlands Stud Ltd 2 LAZARUS NZ      Fr5 5 Mark Purdon Mark Purdon HD $ 1.30 fav  PRBT GS RW SCT W1 SWAB 3 CHICAGO BULL NZ      Fr4 4 Gary Hall Snr Gary Hall Jnr 2.50 $ 9.20   PRBT GS 3WE L1W 2 SWAB 4 ULTIMATE MACHETE NZ      Fr2 2 Mark Purdon Natalie Rasmussen 4.50 $ 6.20   PRBT GS L1W OTE CTS C RR 4 VXAR CR SDVC 5 SOHO TRIBECA      Fr9 9 Bryan Cousins Kim Prentice 8.00 $ 24.90   PRBT GS W3 3WMLT 6 VULTAN TIN      Fr3 3 Phil Costello Chris Voak 9.80 $ 73.70   PRBT 6 7 DEVENDRA      Sr1 10 Todd Rattray Nathan Turvey 12.40 $ 60.00   PRBT 3 8 OHOKA PUNTER NZ      Fr7 7 Gary Hall Snr Stuart McDonald 13.60 $ 208.20   PRBT RAS 8 9 THE BUCKET LIST NZ      Sr2 11 Michael Brennan Michael Grantham 14.90 $ 39.40   PRBT 5 10 MOTU PREMIER NZ      Sr3 12 Ross Olivieri Chris Lewis 16.20 $ 99.70   PRBT 7 11 GALACTIC STAR NZ      Fr8 8 Skye Bond Ryan Warwick 17.40 $ 228.00   PRBT RAS W4 12 BETTORS FIRE NZ      Fr1 1 Kyle Harper Kyle Harper 19.20 $ 22.00   PRBT GS L 1 Scratchings   RUN ONEOVER NZ 13 ZACH MAGUIRE NZ 14 Track Rating: GOOD Gross Time: 3:01:8 Mile Rate: 1:55:4 Lead Time: 66.5 First Quarter: 29 Second Quarter: 29.8 Third Quarter: 28.5 Fourth Quarter: 28 Margins: HD x 1.9m      

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have pinpointed champion New Zealand pacer Lazarus, classy mare Maczaffair and leading harness racing trainer Gary Hall’s latest edition to his stable, Wardan Express, as star bets for Friday night’s Fremantle Pacing Cup meeting at Gloucester Park. All three pacers will be sent out as hot favourites and, barring accidents, should prove the testing material in their respective races. Guild president Wayne Currall spoke for his colleagues when he said Lazarus was on track to overtake Monkey King ($3,332,513) as the fourth richest pacer in the southern hemisphere. “Blacks A Fake with earnings of $4,575,456 is the richest standardbred in the southern hemisphere, but Lazarus is looming large,” Currall said. “The word champion is bandied about too much, but it’s deserved in the case of Lazarus. “Victory on Friday night and again in next week’s WA Pacing Cup would see Lazarus surpass the third richest pacer in Australasia, Smoken Up ($3,607,985). “Trainer/driver Mark Purdon has also pencilled in the Hunter Cup and the Miracle Mile for the best pacer he’s ever trained. Wins in either, or both, would put Lazarus within touch of Im Themightyquinn, the second richest with stakes of $4,567,456. “Lazarus deserves to be talked about in the same breath as the above champions he’s the real deal and will prove it again in the Fremantle Cup.” Leading tipster Stuart Lowe, TABradio’s Matt Young and The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft believe Wardan Express will make a winning debut for the Hall camp. Lowe spoke for his two comrades when he said Wardan Express had his hoof on the till. “My best bet is Wardan Express who has finished down the track at three WA runs,” Lowe said. “However, he faces a big drop in class here and has his best draw in WA in barrier three.” GPTV’s Ken Casellas has opted for Dredlock Rockstar as his star bet. “Veteran pacer Dredlock Rockstar bounced back to his best with an impressive victory at Bunbury last Sunday week and he should maintain that form by winning on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He is ideally drawn at the No. 2 barrier and is my star bet on the splendid 10-event program.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is a fan of Ima Rocknroll Legend. “Ima Rocknroll Legend is not in the elite bracket of Gary Hall’s stable, but he has become established as one of the most consistent pacers competing at Gloucester Park and he appears to have hit top form,” Manning said. “He should be able to overcome an outside gate, judging by his win after racing three-wide last Friday. His GP tally is three wins and six places from 12 starts.” Veteran tipster Bill Brindley has earmarked Maczaffair as his best bet. “Maczaffair has to be my best bet despite a wide barrier,” Brindley said. “She is low flying and can make it a hat-trick of victories. The classy Idealndiamonds is my other best bet.” Longshot king Pat Harding believes the Fremantle Pacing Cup will be fought out between the two Purdon horses, Lazarus and Ultimate Machete. “I think Lazarus and Ultimate Machete will fight out the finish of the Fremantle Pacing Cup with the WA horses Chicago Bull and Soho Tribeca filling third and fourth,” Harding said. VALUE BETS Wayne: Collie pacer Mighty Flying Deal has been racing in career-best form and looks a great each-way chance in the second event. Stuart: Bronze Seeker had a great run behind the leader when second last week. Likely to get a similar run here from the pole. Matt: De La Tourbie in the first race needs a touch of luck, but A C Lewis is in form and she should run well on her latest effort. Ryan: Devendra is drawn to surprise in what could be a high-speed Fremantle Cup. If the leaders burn early, look for Chris Voak to be extricating him in the late stages. Ken: American Boy is capable of leading from the No. 4 barrier and beating quality performers, including Our Jimmy Johnstone, A Piccadilly Princess and Delightful Offer. Ernie: Red Salute has slipped down in class and the veteran gets his chance for another victory after striking interference and then being slow away at his past two appearances. Bill: Red Salute and Glenferrie Rustler are my value bets. Both horses should go out at good each-way prices and can win with the right runs. Pat: Idealindiamonds won’t be sent out at any fancy prices but should be a good thing for punters.         To view all of the Media Guild Tips for this week click here. Good punting. Wayne Currall

Remarkable high-achieving horsewoman Natalie Rasmussen makes a nostalgic return to Perth this week determined to add another chapter to her illustrious career as a harness racing driver of the highest quality. She will drive one of her favourite pacers, Ultimate Machete, in the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park when she hopes to land her second winner in Western Australia. Keen harness racing fans will remember her as an 18-year-old who represented Queensland in the Australasian Young Drivers Championship series at Harvey, Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in March 1996. She did not fare very well in the ballot for drives and did well to finish fifth behind WA’s Craig Goldfinch in the field of ten drivers. She finished third with Just A Joker (8/1) and fifth behind Son of Song (10/1) at Harvey, fourth with Blake Apollo (33/1) and fifth with Confide In Me (14/1) at Pinjarra and had sixth placings with Be Be Brosnik (16/1) and Bessarlie (11/2) at Gloucester Park. Then on her second and most recent visit to Perth she was successful in a $10,500 invitation 1740m event for mares and restricted to female drivers at Gloucester Park in May 2004. She drove the David Pyburne-trained five-year-old Whitehouse Whisper, the solitary runner on the back line in a field of ten.  Whitehouse Whisper, second favourite at 5/2, raced without cover in the first circuit before gaining an ideal passage and then finishing strongly to defeat Cee Jay Blaze (Emma Turnbull) by a neck. Rasmussen has an outstanding record in the sulky behind four-year-old Ultimate Machete, having driven him 14 times for nine wins and five seconds. Ultimate Machete, a powerfully-built stallion and unbeaten in three starts at Gloucester Park, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line and is generally considered one of the main dangers to his champion stablemate Lazarus. Rasmussen, the co-trainer with Mark Purdon at the All Stars establishment in Christchurch, has an outstanding record in the sulky in New Zealand where she has had 547 drives for 204 wins, 103 seconds and 69 thirds for $6,286,467 in prizemoney. Born in Townsville in 1977, she is best known as the trainer and driver of Blacks A Fake, the winner of four Interdominion pacing championships in Hobart (2006), Globe Derby Park (2007), Moonee Valley (2008) and Menangle (2010). Rasmussen also trained and drove Blacks A Fake when he finished a close second to Mr Feelgood in the 2009 Inters on the Gold Coast. Blacks A Fake, the winner of eleven Group 1 and ten Group 2 and 3 feature events for Rasmussen, retired with earnings of $4,575,438 from 72 wins, 19 seconds and five thirds from 105 starts. New Zealand-bred pacers have dominated the Fremantle Cup in recent years and nine of the 12 runners in Friday night’s race were bred in New Zealand, the exceptions being the WA-bred Vultan Tin and Soho Tribeca and the Tasmania-bred Devendra. The past 12 Fremantle Cup winners were bred in New Zealand. Sandy Bay, bred in New South Wales, won the Cup in 2005 and the most recent WA-bred winners have been Golden Gears (2000) and Smooth Business (1994). WA businessman Rob Watson bred and owns Soho Tribeca, who faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. Watson paid $20,000 for Pixel Perfect as a yearling in Tasmania. Pixel Perfect did not race, but Soho Tribeca has shone on the racetrack, earning $588,609 from 18 wins and 21 placings from 48 starts. Kim Prentice, who drives Soho Tribeca, said that the five-year-old had worked superbly on Tuesday morning. He hinted strongly that he was unlikely to charge forward from the outside barrier with the stallion. “In saying that, it could still happen,” he said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.” Coolup trainer Phil Costello bred Vultan Tin, who will start from barrier three with Chris Voak in the sulky. “I think he has the job ahead of him, but I’m hoping he will land in a good position in the running line, either one-out and one-back or one-out and two-back.” Champion WA reinsman Chris Lewis, fresh from four winners at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening and a treble at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, has won the Fremantle Cup six times but he faces an extremely difficult assignment with Motu Premier, who will start from the outside of the back line. Michael Brennan, who prepared Im Victorious for his Fremantle Cup victory in 2014, said that The Bucket List had a perfect draw at No. 2 on the back line. “I’m really happy with him and he should be able to lob three back on the pegs and do no work before being a sniper,” he said. “I’m pretty confident of a top-six finish.”     Ken Casellas

“He’s in the zone and at the top of his game and I don’t think that any horse can beat him,” declared a supremely confident New Zealand trainer-reinsman Mark Purdon when assessing the prospects of harness racing superstar five-year-old Lazarus in the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “You have always got to respect the opposition, but with everything being equal, I don’t think that he can be beaten.” Purdon, New Zealand’s champion trainer and driver, is also looking forward keenly to the clash between Lazarus and his outstanding four-year-old stablemate Ultimate Machete, who will be handled by star driver Natalie Rasmussen. “They have never met in a race, but I don’t expect Ultimate Machete to be able to beat Lazarus,” said Purdon. Ultimate Machete and Lazarus are by super sire Bettors Delight, who is also the sire of six of the other ten Cup runners Chicago Bull, Bettors Fire, Ohoka Punter, Devendra, Galactic Star and Motu Premier. “I’m happy with both Lazarus and Ultimate Machete,” Purdon said. “They had a quiet hoppled run on Monday and all is well. I don’t expect either of them to have the gate speed to get to the front in the early stages. I expect Ultimate Machete to take up a forward position, while I’ll drive Lazarus like a normally do by giving him time to settle and then work him forward.” Ultimate Machete is the youngest and least experienced runner in the race, with 12 wins and ten placings from 24 starts. He has won at ten of his past 13 starts, including stylish victories at his three appearances at Gloucester Park. Between them, the 12 Cup runners have won 270 races and been placed 240 times for combined earnings of $10,380,689. Lazarus shows the way with 34 wins and seven placings for stakes of $3,330,438 from 41 starts. He won the TABtouch Inter Dominion final five Fridays ago when he settled in fifth place and then was sent forward, three wide, after a lap to race in the breeze outside Tiger Tara before surging to the front at the 100m and winning easily from Chicago Bull at a 1.57.6 rate over 2936m. At his previous outing, a week earlier, he smashed Im Themightyquinn’s track record, rating 1.54.5 over 2536m, when he settled in eighth place and made a fast three-wide move into the breeze before getting to the front with 1450m to travel on his way to victory over stablemate Have Faith In Me. Then last Friday night he was not extended in winning at a 1.55.9 rate over 2536m (the distance of the Fremantle Cup) and scoring by four lengths over the fast-finishing Motu Premier. Trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper is hoping that it will be a case of fifth time lucky for Bettors Fire on Friday night. The nine-year-old Bettors Fire greatly enhanced his prospects when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line. Harper said that Bettors Fire was in peak condition and was ready to run a big race. “I intend to take advantage of his gate speed and aim to set the pace,” Harper said. “He’s got the right barrier and I expect him to run a bold race out in front.” Bettors Fire warmed up for Friday night’s assignment with a dashing all-the-way victory over Soho Tribeca and Chicago Bull, rating 1.52.6 in the 1730m Village Kid Sprint last Friday week when he revealed sparkling early speed to burst straight to the front from barrier seven. A winner of 33 races, Bettors Fire is the only pacer to have run in the past four Fremantle Cups for a second to Im Victorious in 2014, fourth to David Hercules (2015), third to Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and an eye-catching fourth behind Chicago Bull last year when he charged home from 11th at the bell. Ken Casellas

Harness racing 'Hall of Fame' trainer Gary Hall Snr reports that West Australia’s best pacer Chicago Bull is spot on for a tilt at the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he has hopes of winning the big race for a record eighth time. Chicago Bull has drawn somewhat awkwardly at barrier four on the front line and Hall said that his son, Gary Hall Jnr, planned to drive the diminutive five-year-old aggressively “Going forward, that’s the plan,” Hall Snr said. “Well, that’s what Junior is saying. So, Chicago Bull will go forward and if Bettors Fire (barrier one) doesn’t hand up, we will keep the breeze and keep Lazarus three wide when he comes. “Everyone has got Lazarus past the post and If we just let him go to the breeze, the race will develop into a walk with a sprint home and Chicago Bull can’t win then. We can’t make it easy for Lazarus. My owners don’t want to make it easy for him. I think Chicago Bull can win, but he will need a lot of luck. “I would have liked Chicago Bull to have drawn where he could lead and I reckon that leading, he would go close. He is a better horse now than when he won the Fremantle Cup last year. He’s stronger.” Chicago Bull, who finished a splendid second to Lazarus in the Inter Dominion championship final five Fridays ago, maintained his excellent form when he ran home strongly from sixth at the bell to finish a half-length second to Bettors Fire in the 1730m Village Kid Sprint last Friday week. The powerful Hall stable will also be represented in Friday night’s Cup by eight-year-olds Ohoka Punter and My Hard Copy, who will start from barriers six and seven, respectively. Stuart McDonald will handle Ohoka Punter and Clint Hall will be in the sulky behind dual WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy, who started from barrier nine when he finished strongly to be second to Beaudiene Boaz in the 2016 Fremantle Cup. “My Hard Copy is absolutely flying and is working as good as Chicago Bull,” said Hall Snr “From barrier six he will go back at the start. Don’t forget that he has won two WA Pacing Cups from barrier nine. ”Barrier seven won’t help Ohoka Punter. However, he’s going all right, even though he might be a bit past it.” Clint Hall said that My Hard Copy would need plenty of speed in the race to be a realistic chance. “If things get silly, he could certainly knock them out, late,” he said. “I’m pretty excited about his prospects. “He led and won first-up, beating Bettors Fire and A Piccadilly Princess and then at his next start he was unlucky when he finished right on the back of them in the Village Kid Sprint when he didn’t get clear and still had something to offer.” Clint Hall has yet to win a Fremantle Cup, a race that has been won eight times by his younger brother Gary. Gary Hall Snr has won the Cup seven times with The Falcon Strike (2002 and 2004), Im Themightyquinn (2010-11-12), Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017). For good measure, Hall has also trained the second placegetter in the Fremantle Cup on eight occasions with Tricky Bey (1993), Our London Pride (2001), De Galdearno (2006), Kotare Flame (2007), Alzona (2010), Im Themightyquinn (2013), Northview Punter (2015) and My Hard Copy (2016). He has also trained three third placegetters Fac Et Spiro (2008), Dartmoor (2010) and Im Themightyquinn (2009). Ken Casellas

Harness racing driver Kyle Harper can see a few scenarios which will land him his first Fremantle Pacing Cup with 9yo speedster Bettors Fire.

There is not much of Chicago Bull but it didn't stop the talented harness racing four-year-old beating the older horses in the $300,000 Group 1 Fremantle Pacing Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand bred son of Bettor's Delight  is set to step into Grand Circuit company in next Friday's Western Australian Pacing Cup as favourite after rating 1.56.7 in his Fremantle Cup victory, which had trainer Gary Hall snr singing his praises "Chicago Bull is probably the smallest horse I've trained," Hall told the West Australian. "He's a little more than pony-sized. But he's a dynamic powerhouse."      

Leading WA harness racing driver Gary Hall Jnr has copped a one-month suspension for unacceptable driving in a standing-start event on Fremantle Cup night.   Hall Jnr drove superstar four-year-old Beaudiene Boaz to victory in the Group 1 Fremantle Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park on Friday night.   Earlier in the night however, he would partner the Matthew Scott-trained eight-year-old gelding Bartowski in a Discretionary Handicap (2503m).   Hall Jnr tried to take the lead off Callan Suvaljko who drove Bettors Ace in the event with the pair matching motors for more than 400m at the beginning of the event.    Suvaljko showed his intent to hold the lead while Hall Jnr drove Bartowski “like a man possessed,” according to race caller Richy Bell.    Bettors Ace ran through a lead time of 66.2 seconds, which was 0.6 seconds quicker than the Fremantle Cup which is run from the mobile.   Chief harness racing steward Carl Coady stated that Hall Jnr persisted for too long at the start of the event, but would be right to drive Beaudiene Boaz in Friday night’s Group 1 WA Pacing Cup (2936m). “He persevered after it was clear Bettors Ace was being driven to hold the lead,” Coady told Seven West Media. “Suspended reinspersons can fulfil engagements for up to nine days after suspensions. Gary Hall will begin his suspension at midnight on Friday, after driving in the WA Pacing Cup.” Trainer Gary Hall Snr prepared the quinella in the Fremantle Cup after Beaudiene Boaz defeated My Hard Copy by 1.5m in a mile rate of 1:55.9.    Hall Snr had six of the 12 runners in the event and five of the six are expected to start this week with Classic American in doubt after running 11th. “They head my WA Pacing Cup entries,” Hall Snr told Seven West Media. “I’ll also nominate Run Oneover, John Of Arc and Waylade. “Our other Cup hope Classic American is in doubt. He disappointed when he was near-last in the Fremantle Cup.” Jason Rulz could also be under the microscope when the handicapper assesses the WA Pacing Cup nominations after running last in the Fremantle Cup.   By Trent Orwin   Reprinted with permission of the site    

Champion reinsman Gary Hall jun. has pledged he will drive Beaudiene Boaz aggressively in a bold attempt to win the $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Hall has won the rich group 1 event six times (twice with The Falcon Strike, three times with Im Themightyquinn and with Im Victorious in 2014) and a win by Beaudiene Boaz would give his father Gary Hall sen. his sixth success in The Fremantle Cup as a trainer. Beaudiene Boaz, a comparatively lightly-raced New Zealand-bred gelding, is the youngest runner in the Cup, but Hall jun. is confident the Badlands Hanover stallion has the class and versatility to prove the master of his 11 older rivals. Beaudiene Boaz notched his 20th win from 27 starts when he made the most of the No. 1 barrier by leading all the way and beating stablemates My Hard Copy, John of Arc and Waylade at a 1.52.9 rate in the 1730m Village Kid Sprint last Friday night. “Stepping up 2536m won’t be a problem,” Hall jun. said. “Winning the Golden Nugget over 2536m at a 1.55.7 rate at his previous start suggests that this week’s race won’t worry him.” Beaudiene Boaz will start from barrier four on the front line on Friday night, with Hall declaring: “It’s a pretty good draw, really; it could’ve been worse. I’ll press forward and see what everyone wants to do. I expect John of Arc (barrier three) to get past Waylade (two) early and then I’d expect Beaudiene Boaz to run past John of Arc.” Hall said he also anticipated that Chris Lewis to make a strong bid for the early lead from barrier five. “I held Lovers Delight with Waylade once when I drew three and he drew five. He tried to cross and Waylade held him comfortably,” he said. “I’d say Beaudiene Boaz is a lot better beginner than Waylade. He’s got more natural speed. Ideally, I’d like Beaudiene Boaz to get to the front. Obviously, if Chris (Lewis) is coming out, Kyle (Harper) will have questions to answer with Bettors Fire from the No. 1 barrier. I can’t let Lovers Delight go because if he gets to the breeze he would be able to control the race. “So I’ll be coming out hard and if I can’t get to the front I’ll be happy to race in the breeze. Beaudiene Boaz is race hard and he has pulled up well after last Friday night’s win.” The Hall stable has six runners in Friday night’s Cup --- Beaudiene Boaz, Waylade, John of Arc, Run Oneover (No. 6), Classic American (seven) and My Hard Copy (nine) and Hall sen. would dearly love to repeat his feat of landing the trifecta like he did with Im Themightyquinn, Alzona and Dartmoor in the Fremantle Cup in December 2009 when the race was a stand over 2902m. Since then the Fremantle Cup has been a mobile event. GPTV spoke with Gary Hall Jnr about the chances of Beadiene Boaz, and all of his drives - watch the video HERE... Related Links Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016

Harness racing drivers Lewis and Harper are certainly not about to concede defeat in the Cup. “Lovers Delight (trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed) is going super and his second to Lennytheshark in the interdominion championship final was simply brilliant,” Lewis said. “Barrier five is the big question. It’s somewhat of an awkward draw and I’d say, without speaking to Stephen or the owners, we’ll probably get a forward position. We’ll come out and have a look and getting to the front would be perfect. But the front mightn’t be on offer. However, you never know. “If we end up racing in the breeze it wouldn’t be a problem. He’s tough and is better on the pace. He’s definitely a player in the race. He can put himself into a race, so we will be using those attributes.” Lovers Delight, who set the pace when second in the Inters final, gave a sample of his sparkling gate speed in a 2536m heat of the Inters when he began fast from the No. 7 barrier and crossed to the front after 450m before going on to set the pace and sprint over the final 800m in 54.5sec. to beat Lennytheshark. Lewis has won the Fremantle Cup six times --- with Black Irish (1983), Village Kid (1988 and 1989), John Albert (1995), Sandy Bay (2005) and Dasher VC (2013). Harper said he was hoping it would be a case of third time lucky with Bettors Fire, who led and finished second to Im Victorious in the 2014 Cup and then was fourth behind David Hercules last year. “I’m very happy with the draw and we’ll be leading from barrier one,” he declared. “Bettors Fire has the gate speed to hold up quite comfortably. The 2536m shouldn’t worry him first-up. He’s a lot further forward than he was in the first set of interdominion heats in November when his fifth behind Philadelphia Man was quite impressive, considering the power of work he did early. “He shouldn’t have to do that much work this time and he should be further forward than he was for his first-up Inters run. He should run a nice bold race. “Things haven’t been ideal in the lead-up. He had setbacks a month ago. He had a lot of soundness issues going into the first Inters heat which we couldn’t pick. He missed a bit of work due to lameness, but he came good before the first heat. “After his run in the second set of heats (ninth behind My Hard Copy in Bunbury)he pulled up a bit sore behind and wasn’t quite himself. His run was disappointing. Then three days later quite a large abscess burst in his nearside hind, which pretty much explained everything. “I then scratched him from the rest of the championship series and after a week off he’s had plenty of work. He’s forward enough to run an honest race and whatever he does he will improve on. I think he will be about 90 per cent this week and 100 per cent the following week for the WA Pacing Cup.” Bettors Fire, a winner of 27 races from 65 starts and $428,332 in prizemoney, worked impressively in a 2150m mobile trial at Byford last Sunday week when he rated 1.56.4 in finishing strongly to win from Formyeyesonly. The final quarters were covered in 303sec., 28.9sec., 28.9sec. and 28.1sec. “He’s had plenty of beach work and galloping since then and if we don’t cop a lot of unnecessary pressure early I think he will run a very good race, with Devendra, sitting on my back, the main danger,”” Harper said. “Beaudiene Boaz is a class animal and he might be just too good on the night.” Devendra, trained and driven by James Rattray, showed his class with wins in Inters heats over 2130m and 2536m, is now being prepared at Pinjarra by Gary Elson. Rattray will travel from Sydney to drive the six-year-old on Friday night. In the first market available on Tuesday night Devendra was favourite at $2.90, ahead of Beaudiene Boaz ($3), Waylade ($8), Bettors Fire and Lovers Delight ($9), My Hard Copy ($10) and John of Arc and Run Oneover ($18).  GPTV has interviews with connections for both Lovers Delight and Bettors fire... by Ken Casellas VIDEO: Lovers Delight ready to go one better. VIDEO: Harper to tighten screws on Bettors Fire Fields for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016 Form guide for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016

Shane Graham, the reigning Australian harness racing driver of the year, is heading back to Perth again this Friday. But the Queensland reinsman is set for something different. Originally, Graham was hoping to drive the Ian Gurney trained Avonnova in the Gr.1 $300,000 Retravision Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park but a career worst performance last week in the Village Kid Sprint has drastically changed plans. Avonnova finished at the rear of the field, beaten over 25m behind boom four-year-old Beaudiene Boaz in the 1730m feature after racing without cover and therefore leaving his Perth campaign in jeopardy. It has since been revealed that Avonnova is battling a viral infection and Gurney is hopeful his star prospect will be right to take his spot in next week’s Gr.1 $450,000 TABtouch WA Pacing Cup. Mach Alert, a stablemate of Avonnova was nominated for the Fremantle Cup but was made the first emergency but will line-up in the Shop Audio & Visual at Retravision Pace, a consolation of some type for the Fremantle Cup. So Graham was left without a drive in the main event. But a chance phone call from the leading stables of Gary Hall has provided an opportunity for Graham to drive in the feature and will now partner emerging prospect Run Oneover. “It’s very strange how the racing game works at times but you just have to roll with the punches and take your opportunities. The main mission with the Perth campaign was clearly Avonnova but things deviated quickly after last week and then we thought Mach had done enough to secure a start but it wasn’t to be and then a call out of the blue landed the drive in the Cup after all.” Graham explained. While Graham is yet to drive for the Hall stable, he’s fully aware of the power the stable possesses and is excited by the opportunity. Graham has been competing regularly at Gloucester Park in recent weeks owing to the Inter Dominion series and has watched Run Oneover with interest. Regular reinsman Clint Hall has elected to stick with proven performer My Hard Copy in the 2536m classic. “He’s definitely surprised a few people with his efforts in the age classics and he knocked me off last week in the Village Kid Sprint consolation and he did a really good job. He’s strong and he’s very fast so he’ll be thereabouts with normal luck. “It was Clint who originally asked if I was interested in driving for the stable and I’ve since spoken with Gary and its all systems go for Friday night. The draw looks a little tricky on paper but the pressure is obvious so hopefully we can get a piece of the action.” Team Hall has a total of six runners engaged in the Cup including Waylade (2), John Of Arc (3), Beaudiene Boaz (4), Run Oneover (6), Classic American (7) and My Hard Copy (9). Fellow Queensland driver Lauren Jones will take the on Classic American for the stable. Gary Hall has trained the winner of the Fremantle Cup on five occasions, twice with The Falcon Strike and three times with champion pacer Im Themightyquinn. by Chris Barsby

The official barrier draw for the $300,000 RETRAVISION Fremantle Cup to be held at Gloucester Park, was held at RWWA HQ in Perth today, with speedy pacer Bettors Fire claiming the coveted number 1 saddle cloth. Harness racing trainer/driver Kyle Harper is expected to try and lead all the way in the Group 1 event, after having to withdraw the horse from the Inter Dominion series in December. “It was very disappointing but it could have been worse, we still have a horse… He is pacing better than ever at the moment” said Kyle to GPTV in a recent interview. “He had an abscess in his foot which came out during the series… We could have sent him around but it wouldn’t have been fair on the horse” Village Kid Sprint winner Beaudine Boaz has drawn in the 4 hole and is also expected to be sent forward early. Stablemates Waylade and John of Arc, an impressive last start placegetter, have drawn inside Beaudine Boaz in gates two and three respectively. Hall’s other three runners have drawn unfavourably – with Run Oneover and Classic American drawing six and seven, and My Hard Copy lining up from the outside barrier of 9. NSW pacer Devendra will get a good run through on the marker pegs as it comes out from barrier 10 (bl1) behind Bettors Fire. The other two runners joining Devendra on the backline is top WA mare Libertybelle Midfrew, and the Ross Olivieri trained Our Blackbird. Inter Dominion runner-up Lovers Delight will have a tricky run ahead of him after drawing post position 5. A known fast beginner, the son of Bettors Delight could be a challenger for the lead if master reinsman Chris Lewis decides to fire him out of the mobile. The official barrier draw can be viewed HERE. FINAL FIELD HERE by Scott Hamilton Race programme for Gloucester Park, Friday 08 January 2016

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