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New Zealand-bred five-year-old Neighlor is the youngest and least experienced runner in the TABtouch Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he should prove to be very hard to beat, even from the awkward barrier No. 6 over the sprint trip. He has been freshened up by Serpentine trainer Matt Scott and should perform strongly at his first appearance for seven weeks, with Shannon Suvaljko, last season’s leading driver, in the sulky. Neighlor will be racing for the first time as a five-year-old after impressing last season when his 28 starts produced ten wins and six placings. He possesses excellent gate speed, but he could find it difficult to burst to an early led, with fast beginners Ideal Diamante (No. 1), Cyclone Mitch (two) and Tanaka Eagle (three) drawn inside of him. Ideal Diamante, an eight-year-old trained by Scott, will be driven by Micheal Ferguson. He is a smart frontrunner, but has been unplaced at his past six starts since he set the pace and won from Trust My Judgment and Pacific Playboy over 2636m at Narrogin in July. He raced four back on the pegs and ran on well to finish an encouraging fourth behind Kerrin Joseph over 1730m last Friday week. Ten-year-old Cyclone Mitch, to be driven by Giles Inwood for trainer Tony Svilicich, will be having his third start after a 14-month absence and is capable of improvement after his fading fifth behind Rock Me Over over 2130m last Friday night. He revealed excellent gate speed from barrier five last Friday night, but was trapped four wide for the first 250m before he gained an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. He wilted over the final 500m. Inwood is the 26th driver to have handled Cyclone Mitch in his 119-start career which has produced 17 wins and 27 placings. He has scored all-the-way victories in seven of his wins. He showed plenty of early promise and won on debut, as a two-year-old at Gloucester Park in December 2010. Later that season he started at 10/1 and led early and then sat behind the pacemaker before finishing strongly to win the $100,000 State Sires Series for colts and geldings, beating Soho Monza and Glow Bright. Tanaka Eagle, a veteran of 190 starts, has been unplaced at his past 11 starts but he drops in class here and is capable of a return to his best form for owner-trainer Reg Phillips.     Ken Casellas

Eight-year-old Machrie has been unplaced at his past seven starts and boasts a losing sequence of 22, but he looks to have sound winning prospects when he starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the Book Your NYE at Gloucester Park Pace over the sprint trip of 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Much water has flowed under the bridge since Machrie won on debut, as a three-year-old at Winton in April 2014, and was a winner Gore later that year when he defeated Run Oneover, who has since proved to be a splendid open-class performer and has a record of 68 starts for 19 wins, 27 placings and $458,763 in prizemoney. Machrie certainly has been left in Run Oneover’s wake and has managed just $58,112 in stakes from eight wins and ten placings from 63 starts. However, the New Zealand-bred gelding has shown flashes of form in recent starts and Chris Voak will be attempting to set the pace over 1730m journey. Machrie, trained at Pinjarra by Chris King, is the first foal out of Presidential Reign, who raced 37 times for ten wins, nine seconds and four thirds for stakes of $115,714. Presidential Reign has also produced Heez Manly, a promising five-year-old who has earned $40,374 from seven wins and eight placings from 19 starts. Machrie has won once from 26 starts for King (over 1730m just over 12 months ago). He was prepared by Nathan Turvey for his first 13 WA starts for three wins and three placings and, interestingly, Turvey is a part-owner of Smackwater Jack, who looms large as the toughest rival for Machrie on Friday night. Turvey has trained Smackwater Jack (a winner of five races in New Zealand) for his first 20 starts in WA for two wins and four placings. The six-year-old has just been transferred to Matt Scott’s Serpentine stables and will be driven for the first time by last season’s leading driver Shannon Suvaljko. Smackwater Jack has been unplaced at his past four starts after he finished boldly to win from Its My Lucknow and Tradie over 2185m at Pinjarra. He is expected to be supported strongly.   Ken Casellas

Superstar millionaire pacer Chicago Bull will have to set a record if he is to win the $50,000 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night and he is poised to become the first horse to win the Navy Cup a second time after there has been 47 individual winners of this feature event which was first run in 1965 when Lord Mina was successful. The champion six-year-old is in superlative form and star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is supremely confident that the little gelding will overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier seven in the field of eight in the group 2 2130m event. This will be Chicago Bull’s final run or second-last run before Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr takes him to Melbourne to contest the rich Victoria Cup at Melton on October 13. “Everything is going really well with him and I’d expect him to be winning,” said Hall Jnr. Hall Snr has won the Navy Cup five times with Abit Rich (1997), Real Life (2009), Hokonui Ben (2012), Beaudiene Boaz (2016) and Chicago Bull (2017). Hall Jnr drove Hokonui Ben to an all-the-way victory when the Cup was a 2503m event from a stand and he brought both Beaudiene Boaz and Chicago Bull home with brilliant last-lap bursts to score easy wins in the past two years. Beaudiene Boaz (7/1) started from barrier eight and came from last in a field of ten at the 1050m mark to take the lead 680m from home and win by two and a half lengths from the pacemaker and 9/4 on favourite Bettors Fire. Then, last year, Chicago Bull was favourite at 6/4 from the No. 9 barrier when he settled in 11th position, was seventh (three wide) at the bell and charged to the front with 570m to travel before scoring by four lengths from the pacemaker Americanbootscoota. The Hall stable will also be represented in this week’s Cup by smart five-year-old Runrunjimmydunn, who will start from the outside barrier with Stuart McDonald in the sulky. Runrunjimmydunn impressed when he notched his 15th win from 43 starts when he raced in fifth and last position and was still last on the home turn before sprinting home strongly, out wide, to win from Vampiro over 2536m at a 1.57.8 rate. Runrunjimmydunny, The Bucket List and Rock Diamonds are racing in fine form, but look set to fight out the minor placings behind Chicago Bull, who boasts a marvellous record of 57 starts for 37 wins and 15 placings for earnings of $1,594,199. The Michael Brennan-trained The Bucket List is favourably drawn at barrier two and Michael Grantham is likely to send the nine-year-old forward in a bid for the early lead. Drawn inside of him on the pole is a former Hall star Waylade, an eight-year-old who has been out of action for 21 months. He is now trained by Caris Hamilton-Smith and will be driven by Micheal Ferguson. The gelding, who has earned $408,325 from 16 wins and 20 placings from 52 starts, will be at long odds. The Bucket List, a brilliant winner of the BOTRA Cup seven starts ago after starting off the 50m mark in the 2503m feature event, has maintained his solid form with three placings from his past five starts.      Rock Diamonds, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, boasts a record of 16 wins and nine placings from 40 starts for stakes of $245,039. He will be driven by Ryan Warwick from the No. 3 barrier. He was a smart winner over The Bucket List four starts ago and was a sound third behind Runrunjimmydunn and Vampiro last Friday night after enjoying an ideal passage, one-out and one-back. Ken Casellas

Veteran injury-plagued pacer Jason Rulz has managed just one win in moderate company at Narrogin from 19 starts in Western Australia. But at his second appearance after a 14-month absence he has the credentials to outclass his rivals in the $22,000 Chicago Bull Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Michael Brennan-trained ten-year-old has matched strides in a 79-start career with star pacers of the calibre of Adore Me, Christen Me, Tiger Tara, Border Control, Ohoka Punter, Devendra, Lennytheshark, Smolda, Beaudiene Boaz and My Hard Copy. Jason Rulz won the Group 2 Pelorus Classic at the Waterlea Raceway when he finished powerfully to defeat Christen Me in January 2013. Then, two months later, he finished sixth behind Christen Me, Smolda and Restrepo in the Chariots of Fire at Menangle. At his second WA start he finished second to Beaudiene Boaz in the Group 2 Bunbury Cup in November 2015 before contesting the Inter Dominion championship in November and December that year when his best efforts were fourths in heats behind Devendra and Lennytheshark and second to Major Crocker in a consolation of the championship. His only Australian win came in a 2636m stand at Narrogin in May 2017 when he started off the 50m mark and produced a powerful burst for young reinsman Michael Grantham to defeat Machrie and The Real Nadal. Grantham was again in the sulky when Jason Rulz reappeared after an absence of 14 months in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. He began off 50m and was last in a field of eight at the bell before battling on, out wide, to finish fifth, four and a half lengths from the winner Hillbilly Time. He is sure to have derived considerable benefit from that performance and should carry far too many guns on Friday night for the opposition which includes four other ten-year-olds and the 13-year-old Celestial Ruler. Jason Rulz, who will be driven by Corey Peterson has drawn perfectly at barrier one. His chief rivals appear to be five-year-old Bravo Tex and ten-year-old Im Lisart, each of whom is racing with admirable enthusiasm. Bravo Tex will be handled by Gary Hall Jnr for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice and will start from the outside of the back line. He is a solid, hard-working stayer and is capable of a bold showing after placings behind Rocknroll Beachboy at Bunbury and Arthur Lowe at Gloucester Park at his past two outings. Im Lisart, trained by Terry Ferguson, will be driven by Chris Voak and should be prominent from the inside of the back line. He has a losing sequence of 15, but certainly looks capable of fighting out the finish. Ken Casellas

Gloucester Park will play host to its first New Year’s Eve meeting in a decade later this year. As well as the action on track, racegoers will be treated to live entertainment on the night highlighted by successful Australian dance group The Potbelleez. Having performed at some of the biggest festival stages around the world The Potbelleez are best known for their hit Don’t Hold Back, which has featured on Jeep television advertisements. The night will climax with one of Perth’s most New Year’s Eve spectacular fireworks displays. Gloucester Park president John Burt said he was looking forward to racing returning to New Year’s Eve. “It’s wonderful to have New Year’s Eve back at Gloucester Park,” he said. “It’s been a decade since we have had one and the whole organisation is excited to have it back. “There will be no better place to welcome in 2019.” Tickets are on sale now for the New Year’s Eve meeting.   Tim Walker

A wide range of best bets nominated by WA Media Guild members suggests that there will be plenty of value available to punters in a number of races at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In a rare occurrence, the seven form analysts examining prospects for the meeting have each recommended different pacers as their top choices. Frequent leading tipster Stuart Lowe has listed Touch Of Success as his best and the Nathan Turvey-trained six-year-old, to be driven by Bailey McDonough, seems assured of a big following in the $7 Pints at JP’s Sportsbar Pace (1730m). A close last-second at Bunbury on August 25 was recorded by Touch Of Success, who has won 11 races, including two at Gloucester Park. “He produced a solid performance in his last-start placing,” Lowe said. “Touch of Success has been placed twice in his past three starts and has a foot on the till.” Guild newcomer Hayden King, who has made an impressive start in media tipping, is going for Gunna Get Lucky. “I expect Gunna Get Lucky to settle three back on the peg,” King said “If breaks go her way, she can finish over the top.” Pat Harding is a specialist in selecting long shot winners, but this time he is staying with the in-form Vampiro. “He is set for his fourth win in a row,” Harding said. “Vampiro will be suited in a small field and there’s no reason to jump off him this week.” Ryan Havercroft has Detroit Lily at the head of his selections list. “I think Detroit Lily is the standout on the card,” Havercroft said. “She did all the work from barrier eight last week. Left parked in the breeze, she was close to winner Im Stylish at the finish.” Ernie Manning is retaining Speed Man as his best bet this week. “He won stylishly after covering extra ground early in his race last Friday night,” Manning said. “Speed Man should be hard to beat from gate three this time, despite facing tougher opposition. He has won at five of seven starts since a spell. Matt Young and Matt McDermott nominate Mister Versace and Rock Me Over respectively, as their best bets.   VALUE BETS Stuart: Sunrose Village produced a good effort last week when a close-up sixth to Mister Rollins. Looks suited here. Ryan: Glow Bright has impressed in recent efforts. Expect him to be running on late. Hayden: Loaded Aussie is likely to trail the leader and could be the one to beat if he gets out. Pat: Machrie has an excellent chance for trainer Chris King and reinsman Chris Voak in an evenly-balanced field To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Ernie Manning

The Justins family will make the 200 plus kilometre trip from Collie to headquarters this Friday night looking for success with stable star Mighty Flying Deal. The 6-year-old son of American Ideal has hit a rich vein of form winning his last three starts impressively however comes to town with a tall task from barrier 9. He has been an honest performer recording 6 wins, 7 places since owners Wayne Justins, his brother Graham and son Jack acquired the gelding back in the winter of 2017 after 5 wins, 2 places in New Zealand from 11 starts. It is a real family affair as Wayne, (helped by wife Faye) trains the gelding and 21 year old Jack, an electrician by trade will drive the stylish looking pacer. He also drives Gunna Get Lucky in the following event whilst Dylan Egerton- Green has the drive behind another dower stable mate Chuck Norris in the same event and hopefully the trip back home will be a merry one for the Justins family   Matt Young

Veteran pacer Celestial Ruler has drawn the pole in race 6 the R U OK? Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and looms as one of the main chances. The 13-year-old who has chalked up 246 race starts led throughout for his first metro race win at the ripe old age of 12 in July over the long journey of 2536m and despite racing over 2130m on this occasion the Kyle Harper driven gelding can lead throughout. Attack On Command is racing well for new trainer Chelsey Harding and other chances are Extreme Dreams, Swimbtweentheflags and Say It Now.   Celestial Ruler, trained by Nathan Dymock, commenced his career in January 2010 at Albany in the Great Southern and won at his fourth race start. Since then the son of Life Sign has competed at every Albany season and given the Dymock family plenty of enjoyment.       Matt Young

The $25,000 Spring Pace over 2536m at 7.24pm is the feature event Friday night and has brought together a small but talented field which will attract good betting nationwide. The barrier draw will ensure the race is packed full of interest with driver tactics certain to decide the winner. Devendra has come up with the coveted barrier 1 position and after racing Chicago Bull to half a metre over the distance four starts trainer Kristy Elson is certain to plan similar tactics on this occasion. Classy Tricky Styx, the Queen of the Avon Valley, is close to her best with two recent thirds in open company and Aiden De Campo will drive the versatile mare for trainer Jesse Moore. The Michael Brennan trained The Bucket List from barrier 3 is a fan of longer distance races and the small field suits. Runrunjimmydunn is the sole Gary Hall Snr runner in the free for all feature and the consistent performer who has drawn in barrier 4 will no doubt be working hard in the run. The powerhouse Greg & Skye Bond stable have three runners engaged and they have drawn barriers 5 to 7. Rock Diamonds known for his early brilliance will find it hard to lead but has the services of Colin Brown. Dodolicious steps up in grade in barrier 6 and the inform stable favourite Vampiro has drawn in barrier 7 with main stable driver Ryan Warwick engaged to drive.   Matt Young

Consistent 6-year-old Mister Versace is shaping up as a major chance in the ‘Steelo ‘s Bistro At Gloucester Park Pace’ from barrier 1 on Friday night for trainer Annie Belton. The likely short priced favourite, a winner 7 starts ago from the same distance and barrier draw will be driven by Chris Voak and he has a great rapport with the son of Bettor Delight winning 3 previous races on him. Mister Versace who was placed two starts ago has an abundance of early gate speed and although the last win was from a sit sprint capacity Voak may use his versatility to go for an all the way victory. A career best mile rate of 1.56.1 should see this Byford trained pacer go the distance on Friday night for the popular Belton family. One of the main dangers Arthur Lowe lines up behind Mister Versace and the last start winner is a good drive for in form Jocelyn Young in a race where there is a lot of exposed form.   Matt Young

Champion trainer Gary Hall’s talented four-year-old Speed Man looks a strong prospect for Perth’s Group 1 Golden Nugget later this year and he is the most popular best bet selection given by WA Harness Racing Guild members for Gloucester Park on Friday night. Speed Man appears to have a class edge on older rivals in the Steelo’s Midweek Meals At Gloucester Park Pace (2536m) and gate four is a bonus as he attempts to notch his fifth win in seven starts since a spell. His stylish win at Gloucester Park last Friday night had been preceded by two victories there in July and a Pinjarra success on August 20. Leading the band of Speed Man fans is long-time media guild member Stuart Lowe, who last Friday night was at his best when tipping nine of the 10 winners. “Speed Man won convincingly last week,” Lowe said. “He will be hard to beat again, after four wins from his past six starts. Ryan Havercroft, Matt McDermott and Ernie manning have also nominated Speed Man as their best bet. “He broke his metro class maiden last week and can now rise further in class,” Havercroft said. McDermott said: “His form this time in has been exceptional  and he was outstanding from the breeze at Pinjarra. The distance is no concern. His only unplaced runs over 2500m have been in the WA Derby and Western Gateway.” Manning said’ “Speed Man has the gate speed to go forward from barrier four and reinsman Gary Hall Jr is likely to put him in a commanding position during early stages.” Long Shot King Pat Harding is naming Vampiro as his best bet, while Media Guild newcomer Hayden King has gone for Qtown Rip Roaring and consistent leading tipster Matt Young favours Whenmechief. “Vampiro can overcome gate seven and record his third straight victory after being impressive last week,” Harding said King said: “Qtown Rip Roaring, who has the speed to hold up and lead all the way, gets his chance to break a winning drought.” Value Bets: Stuart: Qtown Rip Roaring is racing better than his numerical form suggests and he has his best draw for a long time. Ryan: Whenmechief is suited from gate one and he meets only moderate opposition. Matt McDermott: Soho Chelsea is competing over the distance at which he last won and another victory is close. Hayden: The Spinster has the early speed to clear rivals. He had quick closing sectionals and hit the line strongly last week. Pat: Free To Air goes well for reinsman Chris Voak and will be suited by the journey. Ernie: Algranco Under Fire ran an eye-catching first-up second last month after leg trouble had kept him out of racing for almost two years. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Ernie Manning

In form trainer Sonia Zucchiatti is set to have her stable charging with all guns blazing after coming up with two sensational barriers over the short course at Gloucester Park this coming Friday night. The Spinster from gate 2 in Race 2 has been in dazzling form as of late with a metro victory 4 starts ago from a backline draw. This time the mare has got a chance to lead throughout in the $7 Pints Every Friday Night Pace (1730M). Bordering on $100,000 in stakemoney the now 6 year old Mare by American Ideal is well known for her tremendous gate speed and over the short course she’s likely to utilize this. Chris Lewis will retain the drive Friday night at headquarters and with a personal best winning mile rate of 1.55.5 she is sure to give punters a bold sight. Stablemate Destined To Rule who is racing in solid form is knocking on the door for a win. The 6yo son of Shadow Play has drawn the ace and master reinsman Chris Lewis will attempt to steer the Westbred pacer to victory. Millendon trainer Zucchiatti will be hoping the gelding can lob handy enough as he generally lacks gate speed. Victory by Destined Rule would break a 13 start losing streak in “The Bridge Bar At GP Open For Footy Finals Pace”.   Matt Young

8 year old journeyman Whenmechief has a chance to bounce back into the winners circle on Friday night after coming up with the coveted barrier draw. The Michael Brennan trained gelding looks to break a 13 start losing sequence in Race 4, the “Watch Sydney v GWS at GP’s Bridge Bar Pace” (2536m). The son of Stoneridge Regal has the gate speed to lead and with his last win being over the same distance back in May, he is likely to be fancied by punters to return to the winners circle. Brennan’s nephew Michael Grantham retains the drive and will look to use the former South Australian’s gate speed early to his advantage and control the race. Brennan heads from his Coolup property on Friday with three runners in, the well fancied Whenmechief as well as free for all stablemates The Bucket List and stable favourite Cut For An Ace who will be give bold performances.   Matt Young

WA trainers rejoiced when Friday night fields were announced on Tuesday afternoon revealing the New Seasons Pace (2130m) feature minus the nomination of Western Australian superstar Chicago Bull. He is undefeated this preparation and his notable absence from the first listed race of the new season gives his rivals of recent weeks a chance to win a feature race. Johnny Disco who has had 3 runs with the Greg & Skye Bond stable has drawn in barrier 2 and has dazzling gate speed. A winner two starts ago over 1730m, the son of Jeremes Jet is natural front runner and can set the pace to go the distance. Stablemate Vampiro a winner of his last two races and runner up to Johnny Disco three starts ago has drawn in barrier 7 making things hard however is talented and versatile. Natural Disaster steps up to free for all company this time in and has drawn barrier 3 for trainer Justin Prentice. The 6 year old has had many battles with Johnny Disco and this could be another exciting one. The gelding winning three of his last four starts and was driven in a sit sprint capacity and the small field should suit. Runrunjimmydunn will be happy to not be chasing the coat tails of stablemate Chicago Bull and the 5yo has come up with barrier 6. His versatile racing style and class makes him a serious chance of winning. Last but not least, the wonderfully consistent 9 year old gelding The Bucket List will venture to Gloucester Park for his usual Friday night race start. The son of Christian Cullen will be paddling in the river at the start from barrier 9. Although with his racing style being sit sprint, he will settle well back and look to circumnavigate the other 8 runners in the final circuit. Michael Brennan also has stablemate Cut For An Ace who has drawn in barrier 4. The New Seasons Pace is Race 5 on the program and is set to be a keenly contested race at 7.25pm locally.   Matt Young

Gary Hall Jnr, WA’s leading metropolitan driver for 9 of the past 12 seasons is showing no signs of stopping as the brand-new season rolls on. Hall could be easily forgiven for having his focus elsewhere due to upcoming Grand Circuit features, he and his little mate Chicago Bull will tackle. However he is still determined to dominate the present WA Harness Racing season. Despite 120 of his 173 race wins last season at metro level, Hall Jnr expressed different thoughts for the upcoming season. “My Goal for the new season is to get to more meetings and drive for more outside stables” He has 7 drives in the metropolitan season opener on Friday night. Bravo Tex coming out of gate 6 in Race 1 for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has been freshened up since his second on the 17th July at Donaldson Park, Bunbury. Junior says that the gelding is in his words “one paced” but still a chance. Soho Chelsea from barrier 4 in Race 2 over the 1730m was a last start fourth for trainer Glenn Elliott. Where the gelding showed outstanding gate speed to cross but with a hot tempo weakened late. Hall Jnr feels that the drop back to the short course and the small field can suit the Hopeland based pacer. Speed Man, looks hard to beat in the third for Hall and stablemate Runrunjimmydunn will appreciate the non-appearance of WA Champion Chicago Bull in the feature of the night, the New Seasons Pace. The 5yo son of American Ideal has bumped into the little bull 5 of his 7 runs since resuming from a spell, the other two were a luckless fifth behind another stable star My Hard Copy and a win in the marathon back in July. Hall Jnr will also drive rough chances Ideal Investment, Lightning Jolt and Machine Elle and believes they will all need “luck” from their respective draws. He has a big season ahead and it begins on Friday night at Gloucester Park.   Matt Young

Former New Zealand Junior Driver Michael Blakemore, now a stable hand for the powerhouse Greg & Skye Bond Stable has excellent prospects in the winning opening event at Gloucester Park on Friday Night for them. Blakemore will drive talented Better B Chevron from Barrier 10, the 5yo who is undefeated this preparation landed a big scalp last start defeating fellow stablemate Dodolicious. The daughter of Bettors Delight worked hard outside of the triple G1 winner and although shaky in the betting market came home victorious taking stake earnings to $144,821. Despite this Better B Chevron and Blakemore will need luck from the inside of the back line with the better drawn Arthur Lowe hard to beat for Pinjarra horseman Nathan Turvey. Other chances are Bravo Tex who has been freshened up for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice and Dodolicious who has stake earning of $495,514. Speed Man, a 4-year-old half-brother of Better B Chevron, is set to continue on his winning way in race 3 the “Steelo’s Midweek Meals At Gloucester Park Pace” for trainer Gary Hall Snr. The son of Rocknroll Hanover won 8 races from 19 starts in his opening campaign and steps out Friday night as a likely short priced favourite.   Matt Young

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