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Arguably Australasia’s three best pacers have nominated for the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park, with connections of Lazarus, Hectorjayjay and Lennytheshark this week nominating for the $1.8M harness racing series. Trained by the champion New Zealand combination of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Lazarus was crowned Grand Circuit champion last season winning 12 races including the NZ and Victoria Cups. As reigning Grand Circuit Champion and with the retirement of 2016 winner Smolda, Lazarus will be ranked number one when rankings are released by RWWA’s Chief Handicapper Warren Wishart. The Purdon/Rasmussen stable have also nominated former boom pacer Have Faith In Me. Hectorjayjay, who won the last Grand Circuit race of the season in the Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship at Albion Park in July, was favourite throughout the 2016 series, convincingly winning three heats before running second in the Grand Final to the Mark Purdon trained and driven Smolda. Lennytheshark dominated the 2015 Inter Dominion at Gloucester Park, before being withdrawn on the eve of the 2016 Inter Dominion Grand Final. Interestingly, Lazarus is part-owned by the owners of the two previous Inter Dominion winners, in Phillip and Glenys Kennard (Smolda) and Kevin Riseley (Lennytheshark). From the locals, Kim Prentice has nominated the Retravision Golden Nugget and 4YO Vicbred Final Winner, Soho Tribeca as well as highly talented, but injury plagued The Odd Lover. Nominations for the 2017 TABtouch Inter Dominion close with the offices of Racing and Wagering Western Australia by 4pm (WST) Friday, 8 September 2017. Conditions and nomination forms can be downloaded at The TABtouch Inter Dominion will commence with the first set of heats on Friday 24 November, before travelling to Bunbury for the second set of heats on Tuesday 28 November. The third set of heats returns to Gloucester Park on Friday 1 December and the $1.1M Grand Final will conducted on Friday 8 December. For further information regarding the series visit by Gloucester Park

It’s a classic case of tearing out your hair and then curling the mo. That’s the rollercoaster ride of Oldbury horseman Donald Harper with pint-sized gelding Thereugo, the first pacer he has bred. Four-year-old Thereugo, a handful as a two-year-old, has blossomed recently, revealing dazzling gate speed and winning at five of his past six starts and at Gloucester Park on Friday night he faces a moment of truth when he clashes with the brilliant Nathans Courage in the third qualifying heat of the Schrader Pace. Thereugo is raced by Harper’s octogenarian grandfather Don Harper, who played 11 league matches for Claremont in 1952 and 1953 as a hard-nut half-forward flanker and rover. He went on to become a successful trainer-reinsman, whose successes included winning the 1959 Country Derby and WA Derby at Gloucester Park with Pauls Gift. Thereugo, by American-bred sire McArdle, is out of the New Zealand-bred mare Janice Franco, who had 110 starts for eight wins, 19 placings and stakes of $76,782. “I was driving for Tracey Reed about seven or eight years ago and she was training Janice Franco,” Donald Harper said. “Janice Franco then came up for sale and I bought her for $10,000 and won a couple of races with her. Her first foal was Thereugo, who gave me quite a few problems as a youngster. I was pulling my hair out a bit with him; he was just pulling so hard. He was running good times on the track, but I couldn’t get him to sit up and kick home.” It was then that Harper decided to give Thereugo to his younger brother Kyle to train in a hope that he could cure the pacer’s problems. “I had a few in work and giving him to Kyle seemed an easy option at the time. “He’s inherited his speed from McArdle and he’s definitely toughened up as he’s got older. He still doesn’t look like a four-year-old; he looks more like a three-year-old. The whole way through he’s been six months behind; as a two-year-old he was smaller than all the others. “He has drawn barrier five on Friday night and I think he’ll probably find the front. If he does, I think he can win. I know he can rate around 1.56 over 2130m.” Thereugo improved his record to ten wins and two thirds from 24 starts for earnings of $55,790 when he started from the outside barrier (No. 9) and raced three and four wide early before bursting to the front after 500m and setting a brisk pace and winning easily from Debt Free Charlie and Abraxas Blues over 2130m last Friday night. That followed all-the-way wins from barriers five and seven at his two previous outings. The appearance of Nathans Courage, who will be driven by Michael Grantham from barrier seven, will be one of the highlights of the ten-event program. The four-year-old, who has won at 11 of his 25 starts, has not raced since he led from the No. 4 barrier and won the 1730m Nights of Thunder from American Boy and Bettor Offer at a 1.53.4 rate at Gloucester Park on January 13 this year. He had given a sample of his class and wonderful potential in December when second to Mr Mojito in the Four-Year-Old Championship and second to Soho Tribeca in the Golden Nugget. Trainer Michael Brennan is looking forward to another exciting and successful campaign from Nathans Courage and he said that he is confident of a strong first-pup performance after the gelding had led and finished a half-head second to Smokey The Bandit in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra last Sunday week, rating 1.57 after final quarters of 27.3sec. and 28sec. Gary Hall jun. has given punters a good lead in this event by choosing to drive Overboard Again in preference to stablemates Ideal Justice and Campora, who will be handled by Clint Hall and Lauren Jones, respectively. Overboard Again, a winner at nine of his 23 starts, will start out wide at barrier eight, but is capable of a bold showing. Ken Casellas

Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have labelled Ima Rocknroll Legend and Quite A Delight as stand-out bets for Friday night's meeting at Gloucester Park. Leading tipster Stuart Lowe and The West Australian's Ernie Manning believe classy mare Quite A Delight can reign supreme in the second race. Lowe said Quite A Delight appears to be down in class. "She is a classy type who has had two runs back from a spell for a win and a close second, both from wide draws," he said. Manning agrees with Lowe. "Quite A Delight is ideally suited in mares' company and appears to be regaining form shown early in her career," he said. "Nine wins and four places, including a WA Oaks second, resulted from her first 15 starts." Lowe has opted for Billy Mack as his best value for the night. "Billy Mack is going better than his numerical form indicates," he said. "Has been unplaced from wide draws at his last four runs but is much better drawn here and should be suited." Manning likes Overboard Again as his best value. "Overboard Again has been freshened since he was unplaced after enduring a tough run on June 30," he said. "The New Zealand import is noted for showing his best when beginning a campaign. He won five races in his first 10 WA starts and scored three victories from the first five appearances in his current preparation." On course announcer Ken Casellas, Guild president Wayne Currall, longshot king Pat Harding and veteran tipster Bill Brindley are all keen on Ima Rocknroll Legend. Casellas summed up the thoughts of his colleagues by declaring the horse ready to show vast improvement on Friday night. "Ima Rocknroll Legend has been restrained at the start after drawing out wide at several recent outings and has been forced to come from well back in the field," Casellas said. "However, the New Zealand-bred four-year-old makes excellent appeal as a star bet because he is perfectly drawn in the No.1 barrier on the front line and Gary Hall Jr will be looking for an all-the-way victory." Casellas has opted for Kellieann Marie as his best value. "Kellieann Marie caught the eye last Friday week when she settled in 10th position and moved to fifth (three wide) at the bell before finishing gamely to be a close third behind Blackjack Anna and Cullen Class," he said. Currall likes Machrie as his best outsider for the night. "This bloke showed a bit of promise last preparation and punters shouldn't read too much into his last-start sixth behind Thereugo," he said. "That was Machrie's first run after a three-month break and he never really got a crack at them. He's drawn the pole on Friday night and could prove hard to catch." Harding thinks punters can get off to a good start by supporting Muffins in the first event. "This Michael Brennan-trained horse will have Michael Grantham aboard and has had a couple of reasonable runs in her short career," he said. "However the pole is a great advantage and I expect her to run well." Brindley is leaning towards Eliseos Falcon as his best value. "My value bet is Eliseos Falcon in the eighth where new trainer Donald Harper is likely to attempt to lead throughout," he said. Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar has labelled Our Magic Miracle as his best bet. "Our Magic Miracle hasn't been seen under race conditions since scoring an easy win at Pinjarra last December," he said. "But he won a trial at Byford on Sunday beating the promising Shandale in 1:58.9 for the 2150m trip on a rain-affected track. Sure to go well first-up." Dewar also fancies Orphan Reactor in the first for some value. "Though she hasn't won in 15 career starts, she has been placed on eight occasions," he said. "Should be able to settle in a favourable position from her back-line draw and play a major part in the finish." TABradio's race caller Matt McDermott is keen on Khun Ratha as his best for the night. "Khun Ratha is yet to win over the longer trip, however has been a consistent placegetter with eight placings in 11 starts at the 2536m," he said. "His current form is good and should be fighting out the finish here." McDermott, like Casellas, is a fan of Kellieann Marie in the last. The West Australian's racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has been impressed with Thereugo's form and has made him his best bet. "Thereugo has been almost unstoppable of late and he is drawn to use his blistering early gate speed when contesting a heat of The Schrader series on Friday night," he said. "Successful at five of his last six starts, all at this venue and distance, the son of McArdle looks well up to taking on higher-assessed pacers for this assignment." Havercroft has thrown out Vital Energy as his value tip.  "Vital Energy could be a value prospect in the Slater Gartrell Sports Pace," he said. "The Live Or Die gelding has been mixing his efforts lately but did run consecutive placings late last month. This does represent a rise in class and there are some handy types engaged here but he may surprise at odds." Good punting. Wayne Currall

Well-bred four-year-old Our Magical Miracle will resume after an absence of eight months when he starts from barrier two on the back line of the 2130m Slater Gartrell Sports Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the lightly-raced gelding should prove hard to beat after an impressive performance in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Prepared at Serpentine by premier trainer Gary Hall sen., Our Magical Miracle led from barrier five in the trial and held on to win by a head from Shandale, a talented M2-class pacer and winner of $194,677 in prizemoney. The New Zealand-bred Our Magical Miracle sprinted over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.8sec., which suggests that he is close to his best form for his long-anticipated return to racing. He is lightly-raced, having had only nine starts for four wins, two seconds and a third. He has not raced since he started from the No. 5 barrier and dashed forward in the first lap to take up the running before winning easily from Art Lover over 2185m at Pinjarra on December 12 last year.       His chief opposition on Friday is expected to come from another New Zealand-bred four-year-old in the Andrew de Campo-trained Cest Lheure, who will start from the No. 6 barrier with Aiden de Campo in the sulky. After sustaining a powerful finishing burst to win at Pinjarra three starts ago, Cest Lheure has fought on grandly to finish desperately close seconds to The Storm Chief at Gloucester Park and Rudimental Sol at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Andrew de Campo was rewarded for his long trip to Perth from Capel on Tuesday when his only starter at the Gloucester Park meeting, Smoldering Ashes, driven by Ryan Bell, finished strongly from sixth at the bell to win from Rockin The Boys at odds of 64/1. Our Magical Miracle is a full-brother to millionaire pacer Mysta Magical Mach, who retired with a record of 160 starts for 34 wins, 54 placings and $1,261,371 in prizemoney. He won several group events, including the 2009 WA Pacing Cup, the 2009 Bunbury Cup and the 2009 and 2013 Lord Mayor’s Cup and the Members Sprint and Village Kid Sprint in 2012. He also finished second to Im Themightyquinn in the 2011 WA Pacing Cup and second to the same great pacer in the 2012 Interdominion Championship in Perth. The Hall stable has 12 runners at the meeting, with Our Magical Miracle and Ima Rocknroll Legend (Owners Only Pace) looking the best prospects. Ima Rocknroll Legend is the only M0-class performer in a 2130m event in which nine of his rivals have a M1 classification and one, Better Than Money, is on a M2 mark. Hall jun. is bullish about the prospects of Ima Rocknroll Legend and is aiming at winning the start and leading throughout. Ken Casellas

Speedy pacer Franco Rayner will resume after a three-month absence when he will start from the outside of the front line (No. 9) in the 2130m $23,000 Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But Banjup trainer-reinsman Colin Brown said that he is not intending to use the four-year-old’s blistering gate speed and that he would be driving the gelding conservatively. “I’m thinking that he is forward enough to be competitive, but we won’t be hurling out of the gate,” Brown said. “We know that he’s got very high gate speed, but I just don’t think he’s fit enough at this stage of his preparation to use that and still run a race at the end. “He is essentially a beach horse, and with the recent wintry weather we haven’t been able to work him how we would like. He’s had a lot of work, but I really don’t know where he’s at.” Two starts ago, on May 12, Franco Rayner started from the No. 9 barrier and revealed dazzling speed to charge straight to the front before setting a fast pace and winning easily from Naughty Maravu at a 1.55.8 rate over 1730m. Though most of his 16 wins from 45 starts have been when he has set the pace, Franco Rayner is also capable of unwinding a spirited finishing burst. The Justin Prentice-trained Natural Disaster is in top form and will have an army of supporters. He will start from the No. 7 barrier and should be prominent throughout in his bid to win for the ninth time from only 14 starts this season. In a strong field, Sprinter, Our Jericho, Vultan Tin, Mach Time and Harry Hoo will all have many admirers. Perhaps the main opposition to Natural Disaster will come from Sprinter and Our Jericho. Gary Elson, trainer of Sprinter, is confident the four-year-old will maintain his splendid form, even from the awkward draw of the inside of the back line. “He was superb in defeat at the hands of Vultan Tin at his latest run (last Friday week),” Elson said. In that event Sprinter started out wide at barrier seven and settled in ninth position before running home boldly from seventh at the bell to finish second, two and a half lengths behind the flying Vultan Tin, who opened up a lead of several lengths in the middle stages. The Ross Olivieri-trained Our Jericho will start out wide at barrier eight, but looks a strong chance after several excellent recent efforts, including two thirds behind star pacer Chicago Bull. Our Jericho has a losing sequence of 16, but is certainly capable of ending that run of outs. He has been freshened up since his good fourth behind Ideal Alice and Vultan Tin on July 21. Ken Casellas

Chris Voak has given punters a valuable lead by opting to drive veiled Secret in preference to Captured Delight in the Choices Flooring Pace for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has driven both fillies to victory at their most recent outing, scoring with the Ross Olivieri-trained Veiled Secret at Pinjarra on July 31 when the Tinted Cloud filly raced wide early and then without cover before beating Orphan Reactor at a 1.57.4 rate over 1684m. That was Veiled Secret’s first win from six starts. She will begin from barrier three on the back line on Friday night. Voak drove the Terry Ferguson-trained Captured Delight when she raced wide early from barrier four, took the lead after 300m and won by a head from Rosies Ideal at a 1.58.9 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday week. Captured Delight won at her previous start when driven by Michael Grantham --- when she raced without cover before beating Ella Gant Player and All Over Tan over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Ferguson has engaged Dylan Egerton-Green for the filly on Friday night when she will start out wide at barrier eight on the front line. Grantham will drive the polemarker Muffins, and trainer Michael Brennan is confident she will improve on her encouraging fourth behind Havarti over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Havarti, trained by Rob MacDonald at Pinjarra, revealed excellent gate speed from barrier four when she led all the way on Monday and beat Orphan Reactor by just under three lengths when having her first start for two months. Havarti will start from the No. 5 barrier, with another fast beginner and excellent frontrunner All Over Tan at barrier four. All Over Tan, trained at Byford by Peter Anderson, will be driven by Chris Lewis and will take a power of beating if she is able to burst to an early lead. Banjup trainer-reinsman Colin Brown was impressed with Fortunate Adda’s win on debut at Northam on Tuesday of last week and is looking for another strong showing from barrier six on Friday night.    Fortunate Adda raced outside the pacemaker Wilkins Medinahall before beating that filly after final quarters in 29.6sec. and 28.9sec. “What I know from the track is that she can run a 27sec. quarter,” Brown said. “What I don’t know is how many (27sec. quarters) she’s got. She’s probably got only one. She’s got gate speed and high speed at the end of her race … so who knows? Hopefully, I can put her in the race at some stage. “She’s a nice filly, has been well educated and has been in work for a long time. She has been well schooled. Two-year-olds don’t normally win first-up, especially against the experienced ones. I don’t know how tough she is. At Northam, she faced the breeze and we were lucky enough to be able to rate back, and the leader let us get a 31.4sec. and 32.4sec. for the first two quarters. She really only had to go the last 600m.” The best-performed filly in the race is Rosies Ideal, who has had eight starts for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Shane Young for three wins and two placings. Rosies Ideal will be seriously tested from the outside (No. 9) on the front line, but she has the spirit and strength to overcome that distinct disadvantage. Ken Casellas

Considerable interest will surround the debut of New Zealand-bred three-year-old The Pima Indian when the gelding makes his debut in the $18,000 Yearling Preparation at Allwood Stud Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Pima Indian, trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., is favourably drawn at barrier three on the front line in the 2130m event and should prove hard to beat after scoring easy wins in two trials at Byford on the past two Sundays. He rated 1.58.6 when he beat Major Fitz by 40 metres in a three-horse 2150m trial last Sunday morning and he sprinted home over the final 400m in 28.5sec. when he won a five-horse trial from the promising Neighlor the previous Sunday. The son of Changeover will be driven by Gary Hall jun., who preferred him to the Glenn Elliott-trained polemarker Illusionation, who possesses sparkling gate speed and has won at two of his past three starts. The Pima Indian has a family tradition to uphold at his first appearance in a race in Australia. His maternal granddam Cherubic had four of her progeny race in Australia --- and all won at their Australian debut --- Franco Conquest (Newcastle, December 1999), Franco Concord (Globe Derby, December 2000), Franco Croupier (Strathalbyn, December 2001) and Franco Cruz (Bendigo, November 2011). The Prima Indian faces some strong opposition from the outstanding filly Maczaffair and Tisadream, who are racing in excellent form. Maczaffair, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed, has amassed $247,295 in prizemoney from 11 wins and seven placings from 23 starts. She will start out wide at barrier eight on the front line. Maczaffair also started from the No. 8 barrier last Friday week when she raced wide early and then in the breeze before winning by almost two lengths from Pick My Pocket, rating 1.55.4 over 1730m. Tisadream, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, finished third in the WA Derby earlier in the year and he is in splendid form, winning by big margins over 2536m at Gloucester Park and 2100m at Bunbury at his latest outings. He will start from the outside of the back line and should be charging home in the final stages. Pick My Pocket, to be driven by Tom Buchanan for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice, is racing with admirable enthusiasm, but will need some luck after starting out wide at barrier seven. Tyler Bret, to be driven by Colin Brown for Banjup trainer Dylan Egerton-Green, should be prominent from the No. 2 barrier. He covered a lot of extra ground before finishing strongly to win from Bravo Tex over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. Ken Casellas

Brookies Jet has managed just one win from his past 28 starts, but he looms large as a strong winning prospect in the opening event, the Allwood Stud Farm Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The five-year-old, owned and trained by Matt Scott, will be driven by Mitch Miller and he put the writing on the wall for a win in the near future when he started from barrier nine, was restrained to the rear and finished boldly from tenth at the bell to finish an extremely close third to Heza Cracker and Anna Faye in a thrilling four-way photo at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. At his previous outing, two weeks earlier, Brookies Jet raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly to be third behind Dana Duke and Whozideawasthis. Brookies Jet’s most recent victory was when he set the pace and beat Real Zeal over 2050m at Collie in March. Real Zeal, to be driven by Miller’s elder brother Dean, will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier in Friday night’s event and the six-year-old will have many admirers. The major danger to Brookies Jet and Real Zeal looks set to be Bethany Aitch, a four-year-old who has won at seven of her 30 starts, along with 13 placings. Bethany Aitch, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, was last with 600m to travel before finishing strongly, out wide, to be fifth behind Sea Me Smile at Northam on Tuesday night. Bethany Aitch also was impressive at her previous outing, over 2536m at Gloucester Park last Friday night, when she was restrained to the rear from barrier nine and was last at the bell before sustaining a solid three-wide burst which carried her to fifth place behind Kissmecougar. She sat behind the pacemaker and won from Real Package three starts ago. Scott has a handy second string in Friday night’s event in Charlie El, who will be driven by Jocelyn Young from barrier eight. Charlie El enjoyed an ideal trail behind the pacemaker when second to The Spinster over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Monday afternoon. The Debbie Padberg-trained Forever Faster will have friends after he ended a losing sequence of 17 when Isaac Edwards drove him to an all-the-way victory over 2130m on Monday afternoon. Forever Faster is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line. Ken Casellas

2017 will be the final year of the TABtouch Perth Inter Dominion tenure with Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) and Gloucester Park Harness Racing (GPHR), and the conditions for the series have just been released.  The traditional format of three heats and a final will once again be the basis of the 2017 series. The ‘three heats and a final’ format is a true test of strength,speed and endurance; everything thatthe Inter Dominion tradition and folklore is based upon. Like 2016, the distances for the series will be 2130 metres for heat nights one (1) and two (2), 2536 metres for the third round of heats and 2936 metres for the $1.1 Million Grand Final.  The mix of distances will still allow for horses, trainers and drivers to showcase their versatility over three distances, but will also create fairer and more competitive racing. The Inter Dominion Grand Final is the ultimate test of durability that the Standardbred is known for and as showcased last year in the epic battle between ultimate winner Smolda and favourite Hector Jayjay. The TABtouch Perth Inter Dominion has been supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program for the past two years. The Government funding has meant a second set of heats could be raced at Bunbury, which has been a great boost for country harness racing. The Bunbury track has also enjoyed infrastructure upgrades, including a state of the art big screen (funded equally by Royalty for Regions and RWWA), hospitality improvements, including a viewing platform funded by RWWA and painting and TV upgrades by GPHR. There are also great support races during the carnival, including the four-year-old Triple Crown, starting with the G1 $125,000 McInerney Ford Classic and culminating in the $200,000 G1 Retravision Golden Nugget as well as three mares races, highlighted by the $120,000 G1 Westral Mares Classic.  “In making a significant funding commitment the RWWA Board is aware that the investment in the Inter Dominion is far more than simply providing stake money and infrastructure support, it is directly aimed at investing in the harness racing industry in Western Australia and assisting RWWA to achieve agreed goals of new participants, greater industry profile and increased WATAB Customers,” said RWWA Chairman, Jeff Ovens. The dates for the 2017 TABtouch Perth Inter Dominion are as follows; Heat Night 1 – Friday 24 November, 2017 3 x $75,000 Inter Dominion Heats (2130m) $125,000 G1 McInerney Ford 4YO Classic (2130m) $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic (Mares - 2130m) $14,999 San Simeon Heat (M0 – 2130m) $14,999 Binshaw Heat (M1-M2 – 2130m)   Heat Night 2 - Bunbury – Tuesday 28 November, 2017  3 x $75,000 Inter Dominion Heats (2130m) $14,999 San Simeon Heat (M0 – 2130m)  $14,999 Binshaw Heat (M1-M2 – 2130m)     Heat Night 3 – Friday 1 December, 2017   3 x $75,000 Inter Dominion Heats (2536m)  $50,000 4YO Championship (2130m)  $25,000 Parliamentarians Cup (2130m)  $14,999 San Simeon Heat (M0 – 2130m)  $14,999 Binshaw Heat (M1-M2 – 2130m)   Grand Final – Friday 8 December, 2017 $1.1 Million G1 Inter Dominion Final (2936m) $200,000 G1 Golden Nugget (2536m) $120,000 G1 Mares Classic (2536m) $50,000 G2 San Simeon Final (M0- 2130m) $50,000 G2 Binshaw Final (M1-M2 – 2130m) $50,000 G1 Trotters Cup (2536m) $35,000 Inter Dominion Consolation (2936m) Once again there will be NO nomination fee with nominations closing at 4pm, Friday 8 September 2017. Full Conditions can be found at the official Perth Inter Dominion website – Media Contacts: Barry Hamilton, Harness Racing Manager RWWA 08 9445 5310,  Michael Radley, CEO Gloucester Park 08 9323 3510,  

Harness racing trainer-reinsman Justin Prentice predicts classy four-year-old Natural Disaster can continue to improve on his brilliant winning performance at Gloucester Park last night. The gelding, starting a $1.30 favourite, sprinted clear of rivals in early stages and was never threatened before scoring by 9.75m with a 1:56.5 rate. Brotha Ofa Gangsta ($48.20) finished second and Hy Fyfe ($33.30) was a further 4.25m back in third place. “Natural Disaster has matured a lot in this campaign,” Prentice said. “He's set to keep improving and looks set to show his true talent.” The bay, with a career tally of 10 wins from 28 starts, has recorded four victories in five races since a spell. Prentice plans to aim Natural Disaster at the rich WA Inter Dominion Championship in November and December. The young horseman will make a bid to emulate his father Kim, who trained and drove 2003 Inters winner Baltic Eagle. Americanbootscoota ran sizzling time when an all-the-way winner of tonight's Vale Laurie Kennedy Pace (1730m) and is also an Inters hope. The gelding, a $1.90 favourite, beat El Hombre ($20.30) into second place by 5.5m and rated 1:52.6. Though not fully extended by reinsman Chris Lewis, four-year-old Americanbootscoota went close to Gloucester Park's 1730m track record set when Run Oneover clocked 1:52.5 last year. Lewis’ wife Debra trains Americanbootscoota, a winner at five of his past six starts. Seven pacers trained by Greg and Skye Bond were scratched from tonight's meeting by stewards. Greg Bond, who received a 12-month disqualification on Wednesday, applied for a stay of proceedings with a view to having starters tonight. However, the Racing Penalties Appeal Tribunal will not consider his application until Monday afternoon. “Without a stay of proceedings being granted today, the Bond-trained horses had to be scratched,” Racing and Wagering WA integrity chief Denis Borovica said. “The stewards wish to give their opinions at a tribunal sitting to consider the stay of proceedings application. A hearing could not be arranged today and it has been scheduled for 2pm on Monday.” Bond was banned for giving false information to stewards and behaving in a manner detrimental to harness racing. Stewards have held a marathon inquiry into betting on a Gloucester Park race last December, in which the Bond-trained Fifth Edition was an unplaced favourite. Bond's wife and co-trainer Skye has been suspended under rules which apply to penalties on training partnerships. By Ernie Manning Reprinted with permission of The West Australian  

Harness racing members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have labelled two horses - Natural Disaster and Americanbootscoota - as good things at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The West Australian's Ernie Manning and leading tipster Stuart Lowe have settled on Natural Disaster as their best bet. "Natural Disaster has received a vastly improved barrier draw this week and gets his chance for a return to the winners' list," Manning said. "The gelding, to start from gate three, scored a winning hat-trick before he copped a second-line draw in last Friday night's Chandon Final. He produced a big run to finish third behind Motu Premier and looks primed to notch his fourth Gloucester Park victory." Lowe agrees with Manning's assessment. "Natural Disaster followed three good wins with a solid third last week in a strong race won by Motu Premier," Lowe said. "Should find this easier." Manning likes another Justin Prentice-trained pacer in Maia Maguire as his best value for the night. "Maia Maguire is expected to start at a generous price in view of her eight-run losing sequence and a gate-)12 draw," he said. "However the mare came from a back-line barrier when a close second to Kissmecougar at Bunbury on July 22. She has been placed at three of her last four starts." Lowe has opted for Scoobys Delight as his value selection. "My value bet is Scoobys Delight in race three," he said. "He's going better than his recent form suggests. Worked hard a fortnight ago when a close-up fifth in a race won by The Publisher. The draw in gate two brings him in with each-way claims here." On-course announcer Ken Casellas, longshot specialist Pat Harding, TABradio's racecaller Matt McDermott and Sunday Times columnist Robbie Dewar are all fans of Americanbootscoota. Casellas summed up the thoughts of his colleagues by declaring Americanbootscoota as a "pacer on the way up". "He should move a step closer to fast-class company by winning the Vale Laurie Kennedy Pace at GP on Friday night," Casellas said. "The big, powerful gelding will start from the prized No.1 barrier and even if he does get beaten for the early lead by Better Than Money, he then will enjoy an ideal trail behind that pacer and should unwind a strong finishing burst. Americanbootscoota has won at six of his past 10 starts and one of his strengths is his versatility." Like Lowe, Casellas fancies Scoobys Delight on an each-way basis. Harding is another tipster who believes Natural Disaster can salute. "Justin Prentice horses have been in good form and I think Natural Disaster is ideally placed to win over the 2130m distance," he said. McDermott believes Blackjack Anna in the last race could provide good value for punters. "I'm happy to take Blackjack Anna each-way again," he said. "If things pan out her way in this field she can figure in a place." Dewar is keen on former NSW pacer Whozideawasthis breaking his duck in WA. "Whozideawasthis has finished second in his only two WA starts," he said. "Settled midfield in the moving line when running on in the straight and was only beaten a head last start. Drawn nicely in gate two over the 2130m journey and looks hard to toss." The West Australian's racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft has made Donegal Rundlescreek his best bet. "Donegal Rundlescreek drops well down in class for Friday’s assignment," he said. "Recent metropolitan wins have her well placed to contest a country-front race, even a wide draw should not present any concern."  Havercroft has thrown out Jambiani as his best value for the night. "Jambiani looks a great each-way proposition in the Vale Laurie Kennedy Pace," he said. "Sparks will fly early with noted frontrunner Better Than Money drawn to try and cross Americanbootscoota. If that eventuates then Jambiani will be rattling home in the shadows of the post." Guild president Wayne Currall believes punters can get in early with Rosies Ideal in the first race. "This two-year-old filly is racing in grea heart with three wins from her last five starts," he said. "Despite starting from the outside gate, I think Rosies Ideal can get punters off to a good start early in proceedings." Currall believes Ideal Diamante in the eighth race could deliver some value. "This bloke hasn't got a lot of exposed form but he has drawn the pole and has the speed to make the most of his draw," he said. "Can lead all the way over the sprint trip." Veteran tipster Bill Brindley is also a fan of Rosies Ideal. "I think Rosies Ideal and Sprinter are the two best bets on the program," he said. "My value selections are Lovers Prayer, Scoobys Delight and King Crocker on what looks like a difficult night." Good punting. Wayne Currall

Natural Disaster is one of the State’s most promising pacers, but so far winning a feature harness racing event has eluded the son of American stallion Shadow Play. However, his recent outstanding form is a strong indication that he will break through at Gloucester Park on Friday night for a well-deserved victory in the $25,000 Kerry Clarke Westbred final, a listed classic for four and five-year-olds. Natural Disaster, a four-year-old bred and owned by Rob Tomlinson’s Oz-West Pacing and trained and driven by Justin Prentice, warmed up for this week’s assignment in splendid fashion with his fast-finishing third behind Motu Premier and Mach Time in the Chandon final, a listed classic, last Friday night. That followed wins at his three previous outings, at Bunbury and Gloucester Park in May and at Gloucester Park early last month. He is handily drawn at barrier three on the front line on Friday night and Prentice should have the gelding in a commanding position throughout. Natural Disaster, a winner at nine of his 27 starts, finished second to Johnny Disco in the group 3 Country Derby at Pinjarra in March 2016, third behind New World Order in the group 1 $100,000 Westbred Classic in July 2016, third behind Chicago Bull in the McInerney Ford Classic in November 2016 and fourth behind Soho Tribeca in the Golden Nugget two weeks later. He is closely related to former smart pacer Hy Falutin, whose 18 wins from 43 starts included the Christmas Gift in 1999 and the Celebrity Mile in December 2001. Natural Disaster’s most serious rival looms large as five-year-old Military Master, who will start from the No. 4 barrier. Trainer Ross Olivieri is confident of a bold showing from Military Master, a winner of ten races from 30 starts. The stallion was a disappointing in finishing sixth behind Thereugo last Friday week. But Olivieri explained that there were excuses for that run, saying: “He was a bit below par and then I found that he was affected by a greasy heel. I’ve fixed that and, hopefully, he goes better this week. I’m very pleased with him and his form has been top-class. “Three starts ago Military Master ran the fastest quarter (26.4sec.) that I can remember at Gloucester Park for any quarter of any race.” In that event, Military Master set the pace and had to withstand a spirited challenge for the lead in the first lap, during which he sped over the first 400m section of the final mile in 26.4sec. He wilted only over the final stages and finished fourth behind Zach Maguire. Argyle Red, Fanci A Dance, Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues will have plenty of admirers in Friday night’s 2130m event.   Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob MacDonald, will be making his first appearance for four months. He is the only runner off the back line and will be handled by Morgan Woodley. He impressed in winning a 2185m Pinjarra trial at a 1.57.7 rate last Sunday when he dashed over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.3sec. Fanci A Dance, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, has won at six of his past ten starts and is capable of overcoming the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier seven. Tommy Be Good and Abraxas Blues warmed up with excellent efforts at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Ken Casellas

Veteran pacer Better Than Money bounced back to form with a smart all-the-way victory over 2130m last Friday night and harness racing trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper is confident the nine-year-old will give a bold showing in the $23,000 Vale Laurie Kennedy Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s dropping back to a mile, and a mile is his forte … where he runs his best races,” Harper said. “Yes, it is a step up in class for him, but in terms of a Free-For-All field, it’s not the strongest. He can run a very good time over a mile and I think that, if he jumps to the front, he’ll rattle off a 1.54 which would leave him somewhere in the finish. “He was very good last week. The previous week (when he led from barrier nine and faded to 11th behind Sprinter over 2130m) he needed the run. He had missed a bit of work because of sore feet, and I expected him to be better at his next start, which he was when he won (beating Quite A Delight).” Better Than Money, who will be having his 146th start, will begin from the No. 4 barrier in the field of nine and Harper is planning a fast start in a bid for the early lead. “I think he can cross Americanbootscoota (barrier one),” said Harper, who celebrated his 27th birthday with a winning double last Friday night. “I would like not to have to fire him out too much, but I think he’s got the speed to cross. We won’t be stopping to chat, either which way.” Chris Lewis, who drove Always Arjay to a thrilling victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night to record his 195th driving success for the season on his 62nd birthday, has a high opinion of Americanbootscoota, who has won at six of his past ten starts and is expected to be a firm favourite for Friday night’s race in which he will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier. He is a good beginner and an excellent frontrunner and Lewis is sure to jump Americanbootscoota to the front and then will weigh up his options --- whether to resist the expected challenge from Better Than Money or to take the sit behind that horse and rely on Americanbootscoota’s powerful finish. Ideal Alice, a freewheeling mare who has won 19 races and has a M11 classification, will start from the outside in the field of nine. A smart all-the-way winner from Vultan Tin over 2536m last Friday week, she faces a stern test from her wide draw. The Ross Olivieri-trained Jambiani also will need luck after starting from barrier eight. He showed a return to top form last Friday night when he was last in a field of nine at the 300m mark before charging home to snatch victory from Vultan Tin over 2536m. Olivieri said that luck would play a part in determining the result of Friday night’s race. “I didn’t think Jambiani could win last week,” he said. “But he went terrific and has done well since winning.” Ken Casellas

Four-year-old Scoobys Delight has been unplaced at his past six starts, but in-form harness racing reinsman Aiden de Campo is bullish about the horse’s prospects of ending a losing sequence of 11 when he starts from barrier two on the front line in the 1730m Horse Shares Available With Trotsynd Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “If he can find the front I’d be very confident of winning, especially overt the mile,” said de Campo. “He’s been racing really well without luck.” Scoobys Delight, trained at Blythewood by Gary Elson , was a sound last-start fifth behind The Publisher over 2130m last Friday week when he started from the outside of the back line, raced wide early and then in the breeze. Scoobys Delight will need to be close to his top to beat Ima Rocknroll Legend, a promising four-year-old in the stables of Gary Hall sen. who has won at five of his past ten starts. Ima Rocknroll Legend will be driven by Gary Hall jun., who said that the gelding was most disappointing when a fading last behind Rock Diamonds in the Higgins Memorial last Friday night. “He definitely drops in class, but his run last week was terrible,” Hall said. “This was almost his worst run, but his previous run when third to Johnny Disco and Ideal Tyson at Pinjarra was nearly the best run he’s put in.” De Campo has several other handy drives on Friday night --- Muffins, Its My Lucknow, Ideal Tyson, Oneonthewood and Under The Tower. He rates Ideal Tyson, a stablemate of Scoobys Delight, as his best prospect. Ideal Tyson will start out wide at barrier nine in the first qualifying heat of the 2130m Schrader Pace. The four-year-old set the pace and finished third behind Rock Diamonds and Sprinter in the Higgins Memorial last Friday night. “It’s a tough draw and I might have to go back and make a run at them late,” he said. “He and Livura look the class runners. Last week I just had to grab him up round the corner to keep the horse on my back in a pocket. That probably didn’t suit him; once in front he likes to keep trucking.” Its My Lucknow, trained at Cardup by Sarah Suvaljko, has sound claims in the Own A Piece of the Action With Trotsynd Mares Pace. She had a tough run in the breeze before wilting to finish a close-up seventh behind Once Bitten over 2130m on Tuesday night. At her previous start she covered a lot of extra ground before winning over 1730m at a 1.57.7 rate. “She’s going pretty good and the 2500m will suit her down to the ground; she loves the longer distance,” de Campo said. “Under The Tower has a chance in the final race in which she has drawn well at No. 2. She went really good two starts ago when Chris (Lewis) drove her and she finished a close second to Soho Changeling.” Muffins will be having her first start in a race when she begins from the No. 1 barrier in the Owners Only Pace for two-year-old fillies. Trained by Michael Brennan, Muffins finished second in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. Hot favourite in this event will be the Shane Young-trained Rosies Ideal, who has impressed in winning at three of her seven starts. Justin Prentice will drive her for the first time and she should carry too many guns for her seven rivals. Ken Casellas

Gangbuster has struck a purple patch of form for Byford harness racing trainer Katja Warwick with three wins and two seconds from his past six starts and ace reinsman Gary Hall jun. predicts the gelding will prove hard to topple in the 2130m Has No Fear Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He’s going really good and will take beating,” Hall said. “Donegal Rundlescreek is probably the one to beat. I’ll play things by ear, but the main aim will be to stay in front of Donegal Rundlescreek.” Gangbuster will start from barrier seven, with Donegal Rundlescreek on the outside in the field of nine. Donegal Rundlescreek, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, is in sparkling form, with two wins and a third behind Quite A Delight at her past three starts. She will be driven by Michael Blakemore and should prove very hard to beat. Hall is also upbeat about the prospects of Whozideawasthis and Sprinter. The New Zealand-bred Whozideawasthis, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from barrier two on the front line in the 2130m Know When To Run Pace and the Gary Elson-trained Sprinter has the disadvantage of starting from the outside (No. 9) on the front line in the 2130m I Am Immortal Pace. “Whozideawasthis has gate speed and I’ll come out and look for the front and then take it from there,” Hall jun. said. “He’s a nice little horse who will probably win a couple in town. He’s been hanging really badly and we’ve put a pole on him. He’s going a bit better, but he still runs in badly. “He’s got enough ability, from what he shows us at home, to beat horses of the calibre of Ideal Tyson, Livura and Mach Time. “Sprinter put up a super run last week (when starting from barrier nine and coming from last in the middle stages to be a close second to Rock Diamonds). It would have been nice to have drawn inside Vultan Tin (barrier 8). I expect Sprinter and Vultan Tin to quinella the race. It all depends on what sort of run I get. However, Sprinter should have too much speed for Vultan Tin in the final stages of the race.” Ken Casellas

A South Australian-bred five-year-old who has won in three States and has had the services of 19 different harness racing drivers in a 50-start career is an interesting runner in the 1730m Get Ready To Rock Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is the Sportswriter gelding King Crocker, who has been unplaced at seven starts since winning in very modest company in Albany early last February. King Crocker is a recent addition to the Oakford stables of eight-time WA premier trainer Ross Olivieri and he failed to flatter first-up in a C3-class event over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when he revealed good gate speed and raced in the breeze for the first 700m before gaining the one-out, one-back trail. He wilted over the final 300m to finish 11th behind Hy Fyfe. “He’s had one run for me and I was quite pleased with the run,” Olivieri said. “I think he gets his chance this week. I think he will lead and win.” Indeed, King Crocker has the breeding to succeed. He is a half-brother to Major Crocker, who has earned $639,312 from 26 wins and 21 placings from 82 starts. Major Crocker won a 2536m heat of the Interdominion championship at Gloucester Park in December 2015 and he finished second to New Zealand superstar Lazarus in the Victoria Cup at Melton last January. King Crocker, whose eight wins from 50 starts have been in moderate company, has earned just $30,105. He will be driven on Friday night by Chris Voak. Olivieri also expects a strong showing from Cullen Class in the 2130m Cosmic Horizons Pace for three-year-old Westbred fillies. Cullen Class will be handled by Voak from barrier four in a very open affair. She has managed just two placings from ten starts. “Her latest run was very good,” Olivieri said. “She breezed and fought on really well (when fourth behind Susie Rocks). She’s not out of this race; she’s a chance.” Ken Casellas

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