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Two classy former Kiwi pacers will be the backbone Team Bond’s Melbourne Inter Dominion assault. Greg Bond said he and wife, Skye, had mapped-out plans for the emerging Vampiro and established open-class player Galactic Star to tackle the series. Vampiro continued his rise through the ranks with a victory in last Friday night’s Group 2 James Brennan Memorial at Gloucester Park, while Galactic Star resumes from a let-up at Pinjarra today (Monday). “Unless something changes, they’ll be going across,” Bond said. “The worry was getting a flight back to Perth after the series, but we’ve put plans in place to float them back because we’ve got the big races here in January. “Flights can be hard to get from Melbourne to Perth that close to Christmas. We’ll fly them if we can, but the transporter is in place to take them home back home on the Sunday or Monday after the final (December 15). “We need them back home quickly to have time for a little freshen-up, then have them spot on for the Fremantle and WA Cups.” Bond said the lure of the Inter Dominion’s history and prestige carried plenty of weight. “The stakemoney is well down on last year and the heats aren’t worth a lot at $30,000 when you think our Gloucester Park free-for-alls at $25,000, but it is still the Inter Dominion,” he said. “We’re taking two horses across who will need luck and are opportunists rather than being able to dominate their races, but we think will be competitive with the right luck. “Galactic Star went across (to Melton) and ran fifth in the Victoria Cup last year and he finished fifth in last year’s Inter Dominion final as well.” Galactic Star also won a heat of last year’s Perth Inter Dominion at Bunbury. “Vampiro has just kept getting better for us. He hasn’t finished further back than fifth in his 30 starts for us and won 15 of them. Even that fifth was in the Golden Nugget when he had to face the breeze for part of the race,” Bond said. In other stable news, Bond said buzz Kiwi import and early Golden Nugget favourite Ana Malak was close to racing. He hasn’t raced since a huge Addington win for then trainer Ken Barron and driver Blair Orange on August 17. “We found a quarter crack so he’s taken more time to get to the races than we expected, but he’s very fit now and we’ve still gone some time up our sleeve for the big 4YO races,” Bond said. “He looks and give you the feel or a really nice horse at home, but we’re keen to see him at the races.” Although Team Bond’s down on numbers, the quality is strong. “We’ve had up to 50 in work and about 40 is the right, but we’re only at around 25 now. That said, we’ve got some nice horse like Saving Grace, who ran a 55.8sec half at Northam to win easily last night (Saturday), Mitch Maguire is very fast and making his way through the grades,” Bond said. “Even Mighty Conqueror, who runs at Pinjarra tomorrow (Monday) shows us plenty at home and could be a Nugget horse as well.” Adam Hamilton

GPTV’s form guru Ken Casellas and yours truly rarely agree on anything, but at Gloucester Park on Friday night we’ll be joining forces to cheer home You Gotta Have Faith. The Bob Mellsop-trained five-year-old gelding has drawn the pole in the sixth and we both think he’s capable of scoring an all-the-way victory for the in-form Jocelyn Young. Casellas summed it up best. “You Gotta Have Faith’s recent form has been rather topsy-turvy, but he should relish starting from the prized No. 1 barrier,” he said. “He showed his liking for pacemaking with two all-the-way wins over 2100m at Geelong last year and he has started from barrier one only once in 18 starts in WA when he set the pace and went on to win over 2100m at Bunbury late last December. I’m confident Jocelyn Young will make every post a winner by jumping in front and then setting a steady pace.” The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and last year’s leading tipster Matt Young are keen on Vampiro from the leading yard of Greg and Skye Bond. “Vampiro sat outside Maczaffair and wore her down in the Mount Eden Sprint two weeks ago,” Havercroft said. “He is racing in exceptional form, and on that effort he’ll take beating in the James Brennan Memorial.” Young agrees. “Vampiro has stepped right up this preparation and can make his own luck in the feature this Friday,” he said. TABradio’s Matt McDermott, The West Australian’s Ernie Manning and longshot king Pat Harding believe 2017 WA Derby winner Handsandwheels can continue on his merry way. “Tough, versatile, Group 1 wins and placings under his belt ... Handsandwheels should be too strong,” McDermott said. Manning and Harding are of a like mind. “Handsandwheels’ wins at five of his past six starts indicates he is back to the form which enabled him to triumph in last year’s WA Derby,” he said. “The five-year-old, not out of a place in his last 15 appearances, was most impressive when he led and scored first-up on October 19. He looks a top prospect for the Fremantle Pacing Cup and WA Pacing Cup.” “My best bet of the night is with Handsandwheels for the De Campos,” Harding said. “His first run after a spell resulted in an impressive win and I think he can make it two in a row.” Veteran tipster Stuart Lowe believes classy  mare Infinite Symbol can chalk-up a hat-trick of wins in the second last. “My best bet is Infinite Symbol, who has had two starts this season for two wins, including last week’s Merredin Cup,” he said. “Rises in class, but still looks to have an edge on her rivals.” The newest member of the WA Trotting Media Guild - RWWA’s Tim Walker - bagged five winners at his maiden attempt last Friday night and gets a berth in this week’s racebook for his efforts. Walker has taken a shine to Mitch Maguire in the stand. “Mitch Maguire drops back in class this week and has shown good form at the standing start this campaign,” he said. Budding racecaller Hayden King (hear there’s a gig up for grabs calling the Pony Trots) is pinning his hopes on the baldy-faced Im Soxy. “Providing Im Soxy can hold the lead in the early stages, I think he will win,” he said. “He has proven potent when leading in the past and should record his second metropolitan win.” VALUE BETS Ken: Starlight Brigade has been out of the winning list for 21 months, but he impressed at Kellerberrin last Sunday week when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before fighting on grandly to be a head second to Patrickthepiranha. Wayne: I’m sounding like a broken record, but I refuse to let Forever Remembered get under my guard again. She always steps out at a big price and will do so again on Friday night. Can run into the money off a strong pace. Ryan: Khun Ratha dropped out at the start and was not knocked around when resuming at Gloucester Park last Friday. Good draw gives him place prospects. Matt Y: Carter Micheal will be sitting in a nice position with a likely hot early tempo and if the frontrunners undo themselves early, he's the pony I’d like to be on. Matt M: Like his namesake, Luis Alberto is hoping to kick some goals this season after a good return last start when beaten only a metre.  Ernie: Wesley is showing glimpses of ability which he displayed in wins at five of his first seven starts. The five-year-old is ready for a return to city racing after five country victories in his past 11 races. Pat: Brookies Jet has had a number of third placings and I believe he is knocking on the door for a win. This is not a particularly strong field and I think he’s value for money. Stuart: Bravo Tex’s recent form is from wide draws, including a win here from barrier 12 four starts ago. Has the pole draw here which brings him in with strong each-way claims. Tim: Danieljohn has barrier one again this week, after a game second in the Parliamentarians Cup last week. Benhope Rulz is the danger here, but Danieljohn can go one better this week. Hayden: I think Tisadream can cross and lead with not a great deal of speed inside of him. From that position he would be hardest to beat. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

Tiger Tara’s NZ Cup raid is bang on target despite a narrow defeat in last night’s $50,000 Group 2 Cranbourne Cup. The recent Victoria Cup winner did all the work outside the leader – the emerging San Carlo – and went down by a just half a neck in a blazing 54.8sec last half around a notoriously slow track. It was a mighty effort given it was Tiger Tara’s fourth start in as many weeks, including his second round trip from Sydney to Melbourne. And it came the same night he was crowned NSW Horse of the Year. Now it’s full-stream ahead to the NZ Cup. While most eyes were on Tiger Tara, the top prize went to emerging Victoria pacer San Carlo, who has been specifically set for the Inter Dominion by co-trainers Steve O’Donoghue and Bec Bartley. San Carlo won a heat of the Perth Inter Dominion last year and despite being an eight-year-old, has been sparingly raced, essentially because he’s been such a slow maturer. He’s won both runs back from a long spell and 23 of his 35 career runs. Bartley took the reins on San Carlo and showed intent from the start when she pushed forward to take the lead from speedster Audi Hare then steady the tempo, forcing Todd McCarthy to circle the field to sit parked on Tiger Tara. They scorched down the back straight in 27sec flat, but as hard as Tiger Tara tried, San Carlo kept answering and staved him off. Another emerging star, Shadow Sax, charged home from near the rear to finish a close third. It was a fantastic content and showed all three will be major Melbourne Inter Dominion players. ____________________________________________________________________________________ GOOD to hear powerful WA stable “Team Bond” is planning a two-horse raid on the Melbourne Inter Dominion. Greg and Skye Bond have been major players in the past three home state Gloucester Park Inter Dominions and have never been afraid to travel. Stable rep Ryan Warwick said proven open-class player Galactic Star and the emerging Vampiro had been set for Melbourne. Galactic Star, who won a heat of last year’s Inter Dominon and ran fifth to Lazarus in the final, is about to return from a short break. “He’ll be back in a week or so and, given he’s more experienced, he’s probably our main hope for Melbourne,” Warwick said. “Vampiro went through the grades really quickly and now, after a few runs at open-class, he’s settling into it. His last win was terrific.” The only issue for the Team Bond – and any other WA trainers – is the availability of suitable flights back to Perth after the Melbourne series given the December 15. Cargo space is at a premium with so much Christmas “luggage.” ____________________________________________________________________________________ A BRILLIANT Shannon Suvaljko drive helped Tommy Be Good to a big upset win in the feature race at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Suvaljko, renowned for his marker peg genius around the tight track, extricated Tommy Be Good from three pegs in a solidly-run Parliamentarians Cup to finish over the top of them and win as a $29.90 outsider. Heavily-backed favourite King Of Swing was in trouble soon after the start when unable to lead, then dragged back to last behind another horse trapped three-wide. Driver Stuey McDonald made a three-wide charge with a lap to go, but King Of Swing was spent before the home bend and dropped out sharply to run last. The other buzz runner, Mitch Maguire, was stuck in traffic, had no luck at all and charged home when the race was over for sixth spot. ____________________________________________________________________________________ TEAM Tritton’s fantastic strike rate with Kiwi imports continued at Menangle last week. Recent import Bridget Blue Chip looked fantastic winning at third run for the stable in slick time after sitting parked. She ran a 1min51.7sec mile. “She’s got better with each run and went super the other day. Not many can go that time sitting parked,” co-trainer Shane Tritton said. “She’s another one the owners just rang us and asked if they could send her across.” Team Tritton was also prominent at the NSW Horse of the Year awards in Sydney last night. They were the leading metro stable and picked up two of the horse categories: Muscle Factory 2YO colt/gelding of the year and My Rona Gold the Aged pacing mare.   Adam Hamilton

THE only thing better than Mick Stanley’s training effort to win the Swan Hill Cup with Menin Gate were the now legendary celebrations by the owners after it. Menin Gate, the dominant three-year-old in Australasia more than three years ago, scored a remarkable first-up win against serious opposition last Friday night. It was the now seven year-old’s first start in 16 months, his first run for trainer-driver Mick Stanley and his first since being diagnosed with a small fracture to his pelvis. Stanley certainly didn’t pick a “soft” option first-up. “He’s back racing earlier than we expected because absolutely everything has gone right,” Stanley said. “Then when he trialled so well at Maryborough last Sunday, I thought we’d give this race a crack.” Over a gruelling 2790m and after being pressured early by a headstrong Gottashopearly, Menin Gate then had to deal with some serious midrace “heat” from favourite and Kilmore Cup winner Im The Boss. Menin Gate looked in strife on the home bend and challenges came from all angles, but he showed all the fighting qualities which made him such a star at three and fended off his rivals to win by a half-head. He broke the track record for good measure with a 1min57.3sec mile rate. “It wasn’t the biggest race we’ve won, but it was a great thrill to be able to get him back to somewhere near his best,” Stanley said. “This is so rewarding. It’s one thing to get a fit and healthy Soho Tribeca, but to bring this guy back from the start of a preparation was so pleasing.” Stanley said he would skip next week’s Cranbourne Cup and give Menin Gate time to recover in the hope his Inter Dominion ranking has improved sharply. Im The Boss lost no admirers with a brave and close second after sitting parked, while Magical Marn made ground from last for third and veteran Flaming Flutter ran an eye-catching fourth at his first run back from a spell. ____________________________________________________________________________________ WITH Chicago Bull out of town, it’s giving WA’s next wave of open-class pacers their chance to shine. And leading the way is Greg and Skye Bond’s Vampiro, who is building nicely towards a Melbourne Inter Dominion raid. The Rocknroll Hanover five-year-old scored arguably his best win yet when he sat parked and snatched a narrow but impressive victory in last Friday night’s $50,000 Group 2 Mount Eden Sprint (1730m) at Gloucester Park. Driver Ryan Warwick was content to let the classy rival Maczaffair dictate terms in front, backing Vampiro’s speed to get him through. And it did with closing splits of 55.6 and 27.5sec. Vampiro won by a head in a 1min55.2sec mile rate from Maczaffair with another exciting talent, Rocknroll Lincoln, in third spot. Buzz four-year-old King Of Swing drew awkwardly in three with speed on his inside, drifted back in the run and didn’t make any impact in those blistering closing splits. He ran sixth. Vampiro, Galactic Star and rejuvenated former star juvenile Mitch Maguire, who also won well at Gloucester Park last Friday, are the Bonds’ Inter Dominion contenders. ____________________________________________________________________________________ TRAINER Mike Reed has a serious Golden Nugget contender in Bechers Brook. Reed’s always had a big opinion of the Somebeachsomewhere four-year-old, who scored a remarkable and barnstorming win in the opening race at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Bechers Brook showed his potential with a close second to King Of Swing in the WA Derby in April and has won both runs back from a spell in terrific style. “He’s tough and he keeps getting better,” Reed said. “He’s come back really well after his break.” ____________________________________________________________________________________ TRAINER David Aiken has been such a huge part of the recent Perth Inter Dominions with Lennytheshark and Hectorjayjay. He’s sure to be a big force again in Melbourne this year with Wrappers Delight, Im The Boss and even the emerging Audi Hare. Audi Hare continued his rise through the ranks with a narrow, but well-earned win in the fast-class race at Melton last night. Driver David Moran blasted him to the front from the outside draw (gate seven), steadied through the middle stages, then zipped home in 55.3 and 27.3sec to hold-off the in-form Love Ina Chevy and win by a half-head in a 1min57.8sec mile rate for 2240m. Love Ina Chevy, Lance Justice’s horse who cheated death for days after a snake bite a few years back, also deserves a spot in the Inter Dominion heats on the strength of his excellent recent form. ____________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER star juvenile Kiwi trotter King Denny won his first race three-and-a-half years with a narrow victory in last Friday night’s Swan Hill Trotters’ Cup. His last win came while still in the All Stars’ barn in the Harness Jewels final at Ashburton on May 30, 2015. Since then he’s been plagued by injuries, changed stables a couple of times and also changed ownership. Now trained and owned by Michael Gadsden, King Denny dug deep as a $28 outsider to win by a neck in a 2min2.8sec mile rate for the 2790m stand. ____________________________________________________________________________________ MOST of Emma Stewart’s glamorous young pacer stars went for spells after the Breeders Crown, but not Demon Delight. That’s because he was a late bloomer and only made his debut two days of the two-year-old season remaining. Demon Delight looked terrific winning that debut run and has since added another couple of wins to be unbeaten in three starts. It’s no secret the stable think he’s got the potential to be right alongside his buzz stablemates Hurricane Harley, Centenario and Hardhitter when it comes Derby time later this season. Demon Delight underlined his potential winning by 16m and pacing a blistering 1min52.8sec mile rate for 1720m at Melton last night. Another “must follow” horse from the Melton meeting is Marg Lee’s lightly-raced four-year-old Jilliby Lorenzo. The son of Roll With Joe ran third to Lumineer in the Australian Gold final at two then had a setback and spent 16 months on the sidelines soon after. He’s returned with three wins from as many starts on the comeback trail and looked good overcoming a torrid run to win at Melton last night. ____________________________________________________________________________________ TROTTER Tough Monarch has plenty of tricks, but loads of ability as well. Trainer-driver Rickie Alchin looks to be gradually winning the battle of turning him into a more reliable racehorse. Tough Monarch had no luck in an unsuitably run race when an eye-catching fifth to Tornado Valley in the Group 1 Bill Collins Sprint at Melton last Saturday week. Alchin took him back home and was rewarded with a tough win after racing deep then sitting parked over 2300m at Menangle last night. It was a big effort in a 1min57.8sec mile rate for 2300m, which compared well with Tiger Tara’s 1min55.4sec in the 2300m pacing free-for-all. There’s no doubt Tough Monarch can be a serious factor in the upcoming Melbourne Trotters’ Inter Dominion if he keeps doing everything right.   Adam Hamilton

Consistent pacer Vampiro has overcome a tough run to take out the Group 2 Mount Eden Sprint (1730m) at Gloucester Park last night. Vampiro was able to find the breeze from barrier six, with race favourite Maczaffair holding the lead from barrier one. Rocknroll Lincoln and King Of Swing were two of the other main fancies in the race and they settled behind Vampiro. Driven by Ryan Warwick, Vampiro eventually wore down Maczaffair in the closing stages to win by a head and rated 1.55.2. Rocknroll Lincoln held off Tricky Styx to finish third, while King Of Swing was unlucky in finishing sixth. Vampiro has not missed a top five finish in 30 starts in Western Australia and is shaping up as one of the leading summer carnival contenders for trainers Greg and Skye Bond. Mitch Maguire and Better B Chevron brought up the second and third leg of a winning treble on the night for Warwick and the Bond team. Despite having to settle for second in the feature event of the night, trainer and driver combination Mike and Mark Reed teamed up with Bechers Brook to take out the Worldwide Printing Pace (2130m). It was the four-year-old’s second victory of the week after he won at Pinjarra on Monday. Maxentius and Kerrin Joseph opened up a significant lead on the rest of the field in the back straight on the final lap, before Bechers Brook eventually got clear to set out after them. Bechers Brook hit the lead in the last 25m, as he displayed a powerful finish. Mark Reed said he was relieved Bechers Brook was able to pick up the leaders after a difficult run throughout. “We pulled the wrong rein and got in a bit of trouble at about the 600,” he said. “When he got clear, he probably wasn’t entitled to win so it was a super effort.” Reed said he wasn’t sure who the stable’s best chance in the Golden Nugget, following Golden State’s winning return on Tuesday. “I’ve always thought all along Golden State was the better horse,” he said. “This time in Bechers Brook has definitely come back in a lot better. “He’s a lot tougher.” Meanwhile, 2017 WA Derby winner Handsandwheels made a winning start his spring campaign, taking out the TABtouch Better Your Bet Pace (2130m). The five-year-old was too quick for his rivals at the start and had no issue finding the front from barrier four. Handsandwheels went on to win by three metres to Neighlor and Twentynine Twelve. Driver Aiden De Campo said Handsandwheels would take plenty of improvement from the run. “I was happy with him first-up,” he said. “There’s a lot of improvement left in him.” Tim Walker

Star pacer Jack Mac has made a stylish return to racing at Gloucester Park last night, taking out the Book A Private Box At Gloucester Park Pace (2130m). Having his first start since June 29, Jack Mac was sent out a $1.04 TABtouch favourite and he won accordingly. Reinsman Chris Lewis worked his way to the front in the home straight the first time with Jack Mac and was able to enjoy a comfortable lead throughout. The four-year-old went on to win by 4.5m to Iam Lambros and Scotlynn Beach. It is expected Jack Mac will head towards the Group 1 Golden Nugget in December, where he could come up against WA Derby winner King Of Swing. Another pacer that could join Jack Mac in the Golden Nugget is the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Fizzing, who made two wins in the space of five days by taking out the Gloucester Park Entertainment With Horsepower Pace (2130m). It was also a third consecutive win for the son of Mach Three, who proved a class above his rivals to win by almost 20m to Bettor Finish and Heez About To Rock. The Bond stable then made it a race-to-race double when Our Max Phactor took out the TABtouch – Better Your Bet Handicap (2503m). Despite having to come off a 20m start, the gelding was able to find his way to the breeze and sit outside the leader As Happy As Larry. In similar circumstances to Fizzing’s win, reinsman Ryan Warwick took the lead on the back straight on the last lap and then held off a game Tommy Be Good by 2m. The win also ensured Our Max Phactor remained unbeaten in Australia at four starts since coming from New Zealand in August. The third of the Bond’s winners came earlier in the night when Our Alfie Romeo took out the Fillies And Mares Pace (2130m). The in-form trainer-reinsman combination of Aiden Warwick and Aldo Cortopassi also teamed up for a winning double on the night. The pair’s first winner was Kingsman in the $7 Pints At JP’s Sportsbar Pace (2130m), before Shadow Maker was successful in the Follow GP On Facebook Pace (2130m). Cortopassi also drove seven-year-old Swingin Elsu to victory in the opening event of the night for trainer Mark Tomlinson. Meanwhile, Chicago Bull will face six rivals in Friday night’s Group 2 J.P Stratton Cup (2130m), his final run in Perth before the Victoria Cup on October 13. Tim Walker

Star Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond have made a flying start to the 2018-19 season with 16 winners and seven placegetters from 35 starters from the first 25 days of the season and they have high hopes that up-and-coming star Vampiro will continue this golden run at Gloucester Park on Friday night by winning the $25,000 Media Guild Cup over 2536m. Vampiro, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old, is in the best form of his 35-start career which has produced 15 wins, eight seconds and four thirds. He will again be driven by Ryan Warwick, who has won the Media Guild Cup with Fernleigh in 2004 and Simply Susational last year. Simply Susational, an 11/2 chance, gave the Bond stable its second victory in this event, following Ima Rocket Star’s win over stablemate Talk It Up in 2013. The Bond stable also finished second with Can Return Fire in the 2012 Media Guild Cup and had thirds with Mister Odds On in 2009 and Eastwood Fire in 2011.   Vampiro was gallant in defeat at his most recent appearance, in the 2536m Spring Pace last Friday week when he raced three wide for the first 400m and then worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 250m from home and finishing a close second to the fast-finishing Runrunjimmydunn after a final 800m in 56.7sec. That followed impressive victories at Gloucester Park on each of the three previous Fridays. Vampiro will start from the No. 6 barrier in a field of seven on Friday night and Warwick will have plenty of options, including an early charge to put pressure on the comparatively inexperienced King of Swing. Warwick may well decide to restrain Vampiro in the early stages before making a mid-race move or waiting for a spirited last-lap charge. There is a strong possibility that the Ross Olivieri-trained Motu Premier (barrier five) will dash forward in the early stages to challenge the expected pacemaker King of Swing. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis used similar tactics in a 2536m event last Friday week when Motu Premier started from barrier seven and surged forward into the breeze after 550m to apply pressure on the pacemaker, the smart four-year-old Speed Man. Motu Premier worried Speed Man for two and a half laps before getting up to beat him by a half head. Olivieri, who will also be represented by Im Full of Excuses (Chris Voak), hinted strongly that Motu Premier was likely to apply similar pressure on King of Swing. “Motu Premier’s winning prospects will depend largely on whether King of Swing is stronger than Speed Man,” said Olivieri, who prepared Media Guild Cup placegetters Franco Amon (2008) and Gary Bromac (2010). Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall snr declared that King of Swing, last season’s WA Derby winner, was two or three lengths better than Speed Man, who has won at ten of his 22 starts. However, Hall admitted that he was throwing King of Swing into the deep end in a bid to assess his ability against top-flight pacers. King of Swing notched his fifth win in a row when he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing powerfully to defeat the pacemaker Dontstopbelievin at a 1.57.5 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when the final 800m was covered in 55.8sec. King of Swing, who is being set for the four-year-old feature events, including the Golden Nugget championship later this season, has an M0 classification and certainly faces an acid test against far more experienced and better-credentialled rivals in The Bucket List (M7), Vampiro and Waylade (M6), Motu Premier and Im Full of Excuses (M5). Hall has won the Media Guild Cup with The Falcon Strike (2003), Kotare Flame (March 2007), Washakie (2008) and Our Arlington (2014). Gary Hall jnr, who will be in the sulky behind King of Swing, has been successful with The Falcon Strike, Kotare Flame, Washakie and the Kevin Keys-trained Tuxedo Tour (2015). Lewis has won the Cup five times --- with Village Kid (1987 and 1991), Paly (2002), Has The Answers (2010) and No Blue Manna (November 2007). The Michael Brennan-trained The Bucket List (Michael Grantham) is a definite knock-out chance in Friday night’s Cup. He maintained his splendid form when he ran home strongly to finish second to Chicago Bull in the Navy Cup last Friday night. He will start from the outside barrier this week and Grantham is likely to hold him up for a late charge at the leaders. Ken Casellas

The Greg and Skye Bond-trained pair Bright Diamond and Bettor Aim have made successful returns to Gloucester Park, recording comfortable wins last night. Bettor Aim remained unbeaten since coming to Western Australia by taking out the Owners Only Pace (2130m). The gelding is the only pacer to have beaten Group 1 winner Jack Mac in WA, which came earlier this year. Bettor Aim was having his first start since defeating Jack Mac last night and was sent out at rock bottom odds of $1.04 with TABtouch. Driver Ryan Warwick was patient with the four-year-old, slowly making his way to the front from barrier four, before he was able to control the tempo of the race from the front. The Bettors Delight gelding went on to win by eight metres to Lot Twenty One and Iam Lambros. The second of the four-year-old winners from the Bond stable on the night was Bright Diamond, who was also having his first start at Gloucester Park this campaign, after having three runs at Pinjarra earlier this month. In contrast to Bettor Aim, Warwick drove Bright Diamond aggressively from barrier three in the Westral Pace (2130m) and was able to find the front with ease. From there, the gelding was able to control the race from the front and ran a lead time of 40.0, before he came home in a time of 57.2 to win by six metres. Meanwhile, another star four-year-old King Of Swing’s return from a short break continues at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he lines up in the 2018 WA Trotting Media Guild Cup (2536m). King Of Swing recorded a comfortable three metre win at Pinjarra on Monday, after having a month away from the track following his win at Gloucester Park on August 24. The WA Derby winner will start from barrier one in the $25,000 event and comes up against in-form older horses Motu Premier and Vampiro. Tim Walker

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

It was a night for the big names of Harness Racing in Western Australia, with the trainer-driver combinations of Greg and Skye Bond and Ryan Warwick, along with Gary Hall Snr and Gary Hall Jnr taking out eight of the 10 races at Gloucester Park. Punters had the Warwick-Bond combination as the one to beat in the first three races and that is exactly how it played out. Lincs Tiger kicked the night off in fine fashion for them, taking out the Book Into Beau Rivage 3YO Pace (2130m) and despite causing a false start, he was too strong for his rivals. After finishing fifth first-up a fortnight ago, Detroit Lily returned to the winners circle in the $7 Pints At JP’s Sportsbar Pace (2130m). Detroit Lily had a dream run throughout just behind the leaders, before Warwick pulled out three-wide approaching the turn and the filly went on to defeat Veiled Secret and Dontstopbelievin. Vampiro and Better B Chevron completed the successful night for Warwick and the Bond’s. Chicago Bull was, yet again, the star attraction at Gloucester Park and he produced another professional performance to take out the $25,000 Nexus Health & Wellness Pace (2536m). Now a six-year-old, Chicago Bull came the closest he has to defeat this preparation at his last start over this distance, but there were no problems last night. Hall Jnr allowed Chicago Bull to amble to the lead towards the end of the first lap and never looked like being beaten when he got there. The Bettors Delight gelding ran home in a time of 55.3 to win by seven metres to stablemate Runrunjimmydunn. Tricky Styx finished third, making it the same first three runners across the line as last week’s August Cup. Hall Jnr said Chicago Bull would now likely head for a short break, before a couple more runs in Perth and an east coast campaign. “I think it will be three weeks now that he has away from the race track,” he said. “He will have three weeks at home jogging and the last of those weeks he will probably get back in the hopples to get ready for his next two starts here. “Depending on flights and how we go about getting him there…I dare say we will leave as close as we can to the race (Victoria Cup). “Where he’s at, what he’s aimed for and where we have got him, everything is perfect. “You don’t like saying that, because with horses and racing anything can happen day to day.” The Hall Snr and Jnr combination enjoyed a successful second half of the meeting, with Speed Man, Beaudiene Beaufighta and Fake News all recording comfortable victories. Tim Walker

Punters who scorched their fingers when they backed Lincs Tiger into second favouritism at 2-1 last Friday night should recoup their losses by supporting the New Zealand-bred three-year-old in the opening event, the Book Into The $50 Beau Rivage Buffet Special Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Lincs Tiger is poised to burn brightly this week after he was the victim of bad luck last week and finished a distant last, 50 metres behind Speed Man. He began speedily from barrier four and was about to burst to the front after 300m when he locked wheels with stablemate Fizzing, broke into a gallop and dropped back to ninth before Ryan Warwick urged him forward, three wide, to race without cover. He was still third with 420m to travel before he wilted after his torrid run. Lincs Tiger, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, had shown considerable promise, with his six previous starts producing three wins and three placings. He is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line this week and Warwick is sure to make a bold bid for the early lead and then set the gelding the task of leading all the way over the 2130m journey. Lincs Tiger, the first foal out of Tigerzureal, is certainly bred to be a good winner. His maternal granddam Tigerish was an outstanding performer, having 79 starts for 15 wins, 21 placings and $491,957 in prizemoney. Tigerish won a $70,000 feature event for two-year-olds on debut at Alexandra Park in March 1991 and she also won a group 2 event that season before winning three group 1 events as a three-year-old, a group 2 event as a four-year-old and a group 1 feature event for mares as a five-year-old, beating Lento and Blossom Lady.    Fizzing, like his stablemate Lincs Tiger, is being set for the rich feature events for four-year-olds in the coming summer. He has raced 21 times for five wins and nine placings. He was three back on the pegs in fourth place at the bell in last Friday night’s race and battled on to finish fourth. He looks tested from the No. 8 barrier this week. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has decided to handle Fizzing in preference to the Steve Parsons-trained Mega Moolah, a gelding he has driven for a win at Bunbury and an encouraging second to Benhope Rulz at Gloucester Park at his past two outings. Aiden de Campo has been engaged to drive Mega Moolah from the testing draw of No. 9, the outside of the front line. Adding interest to the race will be the return to city racing of the Aiden Warwick-trained Roman Aviator, who will be driven by Aldo Cortopassi from the awkward draw of No. 6. Roman Aviator had a tough run when he raced wide in the middle stages and then in the breeze before finishing second to Rock Me Over at Bunbury at his most recent outing. That followed a winning sequence of six. Liam Neil, a winner of six races for Byford trainer David Thompson, is capable of a forward showing. He will start from barrier four on the front line and will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green. Thompson also prepares Itsnotova, a winner at two of his 19 starts who will be driven by Colin Brown from the favourable No. 1 barrier. Ken Casellas

THE world awaits top Aussie trotter Sparkling Success. And the Victorian regained feature race winning form just ahead of his trip to the US for the $1 million Yonkers Interational Trot in October. It’s one of the great stories given he’s trained by dairy farmers John and Mary Meade, who have sold the farm to concentrate on campaigning Sparkling Success in the US. After two sound runs back from a spell, regular driver Chris Svanosio obviously felt Sparkling Success was primed to do some work and launched him a daring and race-winning midrace move around the field to take the lead. It left main danger and hot favourite Maori Time parked doing the work in the $35,000 Group Breeders Crown Graduate Trotters’ free-for-all. Sparkling Success was always in control, winning by 3.7m in a slick 1min58sec mile rate for 2240m “This is the race he won last year which showed how good he was and Meady thought he was getting back to his top so I was happy to do a bit of work on him. He felt terrific,” Svanosio said. Meade said Sparkling Success could race again at Melton on September 8 before boarding a flight to the US seven days later. The adorable Meade told : “There’s a lot of thing I don’t know yet, there’s probably a lot of things when I come home I won’t know either, but anyway. “We are going. I still haven’t got my visa. I haven’t got a credit card and I haven’t got a mobile phone. I have got a passport. “I’ve only got to just get on my computer – computers and me aren’t real good – I’ve been busy trying to get my licence and organise my cows for sale.” ____________________________________________________________________________ YOU may never see another race quite like what Dance Craze did in the Group 2 Breeders Crown 4YO Mares’ final at Melton last Friday night. It wasn’t the way she won, but rather how as a $1.10 favourite she did two staggering things to beat herself. About 100m from the winning post with a lap to go, she shied at something, broke badly while leading,  caused chaos in the field, but recovered well enough to zoom around take the lead again down the back straight. Driver Nathan Jack cut her loose on the final bend and she got to the 100m mark in the home straight with a huge lead before … doing exactly what she did a lap earlier. This time she galloped, lost all chance and finished ninth. For the record, the race was won by Margaret Jean for trainer Chris Svanosio and driver Mark Pitt. ____________________________________________________________________________ GLAMOUR mare Our Golden Goddess’ unbeaten streak this campaign came to an end when she could only manage third in the $60,000 Group 2 Breeders Crown Graduate Open free-for-all (2240m) at Melton last Friday night. The scratching of favourite and big threat Shadow Sax left Our Golden Goddess a dominant $1.70 favourite, but much-improved leader Audi Hare dictated in front and found plenty to win by a head over Nikkibandwagon (behind leader). Our Golden Goddess was another head away third and timed to run her last 800m out three-wide without cover in 54.9sec. Such has been Audi Hare’s improvement, trainer David Aiken touted a possible Melbourne Inter Dominion tilt for the rising six-year-old. ____________________________________________________________________________ CHICAGO Bull stole the show at Gloucester Park last Friday, but a couple of Greg and Skye Bond’s exciting four-year-olds delivered nice cameos. Former buzz juvenile Mitch Maguire and the emerging former Kiwi Vampiro both look headed to bigger and better things. Mitch Maguire sat parked, but simply blew away a handy field for a speed with a 55.4 closing half to score in a 1min56.4sec mile rate for 2130m. It was his fourth win from his past five starts and his 17th from just 26 career runs. Vampiro, who looks every bit a serious open-class player in the making, didn’t win as easily but was even more impressive. After rapidly rising through the grades, Vampiro had been good without winning of late, but turned it around when he dropped back in grade slightly and to a standing race off 20m. Ryan Warwick stepped him away well, made an early move to sit parked and then went crunch through the middle stages with a 56.1sec split from the 1200-400m. Vampiro tired late, but held on to beat stablemate Courage Tells by 1.4m in a sharp 1min57.7sec mile rate for the long 2503m standing-start. The Bonds snared a treble on the night with Mighty Mr Sharkey led throughout to upset stablemate El Jacko in the fourth event. ____________________________________________________________________________ A WIDE draw and tough run saw NZ Cup hopeful Tiger Tara finish just midfield in the Group 3 Vic Frost Cup (1609m) at Menangle last night. Kevin Pizzuto’s stable star was only second-up from a spell and worked hard three-wide then outside the leader and winner My Alpha Rock before tiring late for a 7.1m fifth. My Alpha Rock continues to emerge as a open-class player and there was plenty to like about his bold front-running win in a 1min50.9sec mile. The flop of the race was former All Stars’ pacer Cash N Flow, now in the Craig Cross barn, who had a good trip, but failed to beat a rival home. ____________________________________________________________________________ A LATE surge from Lauren Tritton left her one with short of winning the Menangle drivers’ premiership. Todd McCarthy’s early treble last night gave him a three-win lead, but Tritton hit back with victories on My Alpha Rock and Petes Big Jim. Petes Big Jim, a placegetter and Jewels and Vicbred finals, had to pull-out all stops to beat Tim Butt’s recent Kiwi import Izzy Dagg in the Garrards Ready 2 Run Sale Stakes in a slick 1min52.9sec mile.   Adam Hamitlon

Astute punters who fancy all-up wagering should seriously consider investing in an all-up treble at Gloucester Park on Friday night with the Greg and Skye Bond-trained trio of El Jacko, Mitch Maguire and Vampiro. These three New Zealand-bred pacers to be driven by Ryan Warwick look outstanding winning prospects. El Jacko will start from out wide at barrier eight in race four, the Book Your Christmas Function at the Beau Rivage Pace, and the five-year-old should carry far too many guns for his ten rivals in this 2536m event. He started from the outside barrier in a field of eight over 1730m last Friday night and came from last in the middle stages to be third, three wide, at the bell before finishing third behind stablemate Johnny Disco, who gave his rivals little chance by speeding over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.2sec. El Jacko has a winning record of 41 per cent (16 wins and 12 placings from 39 starts) and is sure to develop into a strong open-class performer. Four-year-old Mitch Maguire has a winning record of 64 per cent (16 wins and three placings from 25 starts) and looks a star bet from barrier two on the front line in race six, the third heat of the Schrader Pace over 2130m. Mitch Maguire, winner of the group 1 Golden Slipper in July 2016 and the group 2 Western Gateway Pace over Maczaffair and Herrick Roosevelt in March 2017, has resumed after a 13-month absence with effortless victories in stands over 2116m and 2631m at Pinjarra. He has unwound powerful finishing bursts to win at both those starts, but should be capable of leading throughout in Friday night’s race. Vampiro is destined for bigger and better things and looks a certainty from 20 metres in race eight, the 2503m $7 Pints at JP’s Sportsbar Pace. His winning record is 39 per cent (12 wins and 11 placings from 31 starts). He gave a superb display last Friday night when he sustained a spirited three-wide burst from sixth at the bell to be a close second to the speedy Johnny Disco. Ken Casellas

“He’s freshened up really well since his latest run and I can’t fault him,” said Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey when assessing the prospects of Simba Bromac, one of three stable runners in the second heat of the Schrader Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Turvey had no hesitation in declaring that Simba Bromac was the stable’s best prospect, ahead of Arthur Lowe and Robert The Bruce, and he is expecting the New Zealand-bred four-year-old to make amends for his last-start second behind Tyler Brett three Fridays ago. Simba Bromac is perfectly drawn at barrier No. 1 and will be driven by Chris Lewis. Turvey will handle Robert The Bruce from barrier eight and Jocelyn Young will drive Arthur Lowe from the No. 5 barrier. “Arthur Lowe is working very well, but is racing first-up and I’d say that he will probably need the run,” said Turvey. “And Robert The Bruce will need luck from his wide draw. Simba Bromac boasts an outstanding record of 28 starts for 16 wins, six seconds and three thirds and he will be at short odds. But he should get punters away to a flying start in the first of the ten events on the program. Turvey is also looking forward keenly to driving the extremely consistent six-year-old Livura, who will start out wide at barrier seven in the Inter Sport Slater Gartrell Pace over 2536m. This will be Livura’s first appearance since he finished with a typical stout-hearted burst to be second to Zennart on March 16. “He is working really well, but 2536m first-up will test him,” Turvey said. “I will have to drive him patiently, but he never performs badly and I’m sure he will put his best foot forward.” Livura has had 76 starts for 19 wins and 31 placings for earnings of $209,315 and is still classified as an M1-class performer. Hardest for Livura to beat appears to be the Greg and Skye Bond-trained The Freedom Fighter, who will be driven by Ryan Warwick from out wide at barrier No. 8.   The Freedom Fighter won six races in a row before an extremely gallant last-start second to Major Pocket over 2130m last Friday week when he started from barrier eight, raced three wide for the first 650m and then worked hard in the breeze before fighting on doggedly to fail by a head. There is likely to be a spirited battle for the early lead between smart beginners Raffaello (barrier one) and Whenmechief (No. 2) and The Freedom Fighter is again expected to have a tough run in the breeze. Ken Casellas

Three members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have labelled the consistent El Jacko as their best bet for Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. GPTV’s Ken Casellas, The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft and Guild president Wayne Currall are all keen on the Greg and Skye Bond-trained five-year-old gelding. “El Jacko has exciting potential and he should continue his march towards open-class company by winning race three at headquarters on Friday night,” Casellas said. “He’s my best bet and is certainly capable of overcoming the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier eight. He boasts a winning record of 43 per cent and impresses with his toughness and ability to unwind powerful finishing bursts.” Havercroft believes El Jacko was most unlucky at his last start. “El Jacko was just staking his claim in The Chandon Final when he locked wheels on the home turn,” Havercroft said. “After losing momentum he picked himself up to catch the eye when flying home for third.” Currall agrees with his colleagues. “El Jacko should relish the step up to 2536m and is the class horse in this 10-horse field,” Currall said. “He’s an M3-class horse taking on lesser-assessed pacers and with even luck in running should prove the testing material.” Last season’s leading tipster Stuart Lowe is keen on the former Victorian mare Waltzingwithsierra, now in the stables of Kat Warwick. “My best bet is Waltzingwithsierra,” Lowe said. “She has impressed with solid runs at three WA starts and looks well suited here. The pole draw gives her a chance to lead all the way.” TABradio’s Matt Young, who has a healthy lead in this year’s tipping competition, believes the Kevin Keys-trained Tajies Girl could surprise at odds. “My best bet is little out of the box, but I think Tajies Girl will find her way to the front in race eight with Soho Changeling crossing and then handing up,” Young said. “Junior is aboard and her form is solid enough to suggest she would lead and win.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning has opted for the classy Natural Disaster as his best bet. “Natural Disaster was considered to be an Inter Dominion prospect after four wins in a sequence of five starts between May and August last year,” Manning said. “He encountered a setback and did not contest the series, but the gelding has bounced back after a lengthy spell. Pinjarra and Bunbury wins at his past two starts have been impressive.” Longshot guru Pat Harding believes the Bonds will have a night out at GP. “Should be another good night for the Bond camp this week,” Harding said. “My best bet comes up in race five with Rock Diamonds. This horse had a good win two starts ago and I think he can step up to the plate again in this race. Barrier five should not be a problem.” VALUE BETS Ken: For value, I suggest the Debbie Padberg-trained Bad Round, who is poised for a bold showing in race two at his 100th start. He has a losing sequence of 13, but has been performing soundly against stronger opposition. Ryan: Courage Tells improved lengths last week to lead throughout. Loves this draw and can repeat the feat. Wayne: Always Arjay can run a cheeky race in the Marathon Handicap. He has finished second at his last four starts at headquarters, including an unlucky second in the BOTRA Cup. Will give them something to chase if he can find the front. Stuart: The value bet is Fizzing who ran a great race to win easily in fast time at Pinjarra on Monday. Drawn to get a good run. Matt: Say It Now in race two has been competitive as of late, meets a moderate line-up and has Chris Voak back aboard. Could be a big price. Ernie: Chuck Norris has not won in his past 31 starts, but he showed a glimpse of his best when running on to dead-heat for third at Bunbury last start. The New Zealand import has won at Gloucester Park. Pat: The Bonds should get a race-to-race double in race six with Courage Tells. From pole position I expect him to be in front and salute the judge. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting   Wayne Currall

Evergreen pacer Bettors Fire is on target to win the August Cup for the third time in a fortnight’s time and trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper said the nine-year-old was fit and well and ready to run a big race in the Sunrise On Seven Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “He was unlucky when a last-start fourth behind Chicago Bull,” said Harper, who added: “He’s working well and should be hard to beat.” However, Harper has a healthy respect for the opposition, particularly Galactic Star, who followed two successive wins at Gloucester Park with two excellent third placings behind Chicago Bull at his next two outings. Galactic Star, a New Zealand-bred five-year-old to be driven by Ryan Warwick for trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the No. 7 barrier in Friday night’s 2130m event. A winner at 22 of his 52 starts, he is in sparkling form. Bettors Fire, a winner of 40 races from 104 starts, will start from barrier six. “Galactic Star is definitely the one to beat,” said Harper. “However, I’ve got the barrier draw on him and that gives us some hope. Like usual, I’ll play it by ear. When the green light goes on we’ll assess our options and go from there.” Bettors Fire possesses outstanding gate speed and one option for Harper will be to attempt to fire the handsome gelding to an early lead and then dictate terms in front. At his most recent outing Bettors Fire began speedily from barrier three but was unable to cross the polemarker Chicago Bull. After racing without cover early Bettors Fire then enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, following Galactic Star, who moved to the breeze after about 550m. Chicago Bull won easily from stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, with Galactic Star in third place, a nose ahead of Bettors Fire, who fought on determinedly, out four wide. Millionaire pacer Beaudiene Boaz will start out wide at barrier No. 8 at his fourth appearance after a ten-month absence and is ready for a strong forward showing after a solid last-start fourth behind Chicago Bull. He will again be handled by Micheal Ferguson, with Gary Hall Jnr to drive trainer Michael Brennan’s top-flight eight-year-old The Bucket List from barrier four. Hall drove The Bucket List to a brilliant fast-finishing victory in the 2503m BOTRA Cup two starts ago. The Bond stable have an excellent second-string runner in Friday night’s race in four-year-old Rock Diamonds, who will start from barrier five with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Rock Diamonds finished strongly to win a 2503m stand two starts ago. The Kristy Elson-trained Ideal Tyson will have admirers after his dashing victorying weaker company last Friday night when he charged home from seventh at the bell to win narrowly from Vampiro and Motu Premier. Ideal Tyson will start from barrier three and Turvey will be anxious to get a flying start in a bid to take up the running. “His best attribute is rolling along and either leading or being in the breeze would be nice,” Turvey said. “Bettors Fire and Galactic Star might have a bit on us, but if we are able to lead we could beat them.” Ken Casellas

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