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Harness racing driver Ryan Warwick, the leading reinsman in Western Australia this season, is planning to get Our Jimmy Johnstone away to a flying start in a bid to win the $50,000 Governor’s Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Our Jimmy Johnstone, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is awkwardly drawn at barrier six on the front line in the group 2 event and his chief rival Im Full of Excuses is more favourably drawn at barrier four. “At this stage, I’ll probably adopt similar tactics as I used when Our Jimmy Johnstone won the RWWA Cup (2536m) last Friday night,” Warwick said. Our Jimmy Johnstone began brilliantly from the No. 8 barrier last week and sped to the front after 80m. Im Full of Excuses was restrained back to last from the outside barrier (No. 9) before he finished solidly from ninth at the bell to be fourth, three lengths behind Our Jimmy Johnstone. “I’ll probably come out as hard as we can,” Warwick said. “My initial thought was if we come out, we’ve got to come out full bore to be able to cross Im Full of Excuses. He’s the horse to beat. If we cross (to the front) we should win. You can’t afford to give him (Im Full of Excuses) a head start. He gave us a head start last week and we beat him. “The thing in our favour is that this week’s race is over 2130m and if we come out and don’t get to the front it’s not the end of the world. If it was a race over 2536m and to burn early would cost you a bit of petrol. Our Jimmy Johnstone has won from the breeze.” There is little doubt that Chris Lewis will make a bold bid to send the Ross Olivieri-trained Im Full of Excuses to an early lead. Drawn inside of Im Full of Excuses are Ohoka Kentucky, Shardons Rocket and Red Salute, all of whom possess good gate speed and have won races after setting the pace. A victory by Im Full of Excuses would give Olivieri, owner Merv Butterworth and Lewis their second success in a Governor’s Cup. The Butterworth-owned and Olivieri-trained Chief Thundercloud started from the No. 1 barrier when Stuart McDonald drove him to an all-the-way win over Dredlock Rockstar and Cyamach in last year’s Governor’s Cup. Lewis was successful behind the Tony Svilicich-trained Has The Answers in 2010. The Peter Anderson-trained Bronze Seeker is in top form and should be running home strongly in the final stages. He will be handled by Michael Grantham, with stablemate Lisharry, awkwardly drawn at barrier five, to be driven by Gary Hall jun. Bronze Seeker maintained his excellent form when he started out wide at barrier seven and was eighth at the bell before charging home late, out five wide, to be second to Our Jimmy Johnstone last Friday night. Ryan Bell will drive Our Jimmy Johnstone’s stablemate Condrieu (barrier seven) and Dylan Egerton-Green will be the new driver for the Mike Reed-trained Kiwi Legend (No. 8). Each pacer faces a tough task from an unfavourable barrier. Ken Casellas

Top-flight pacer Our Jimmy Johnstone looks a star bet when he runs in the harness racing $30,000 GWN Albany Cup over 2683m in Albany on Friday night.\ The Greg and Skye Bond-trained Our Jimmy Johnstone will be driven by Ryan Bell from the outside barrier (No. 6) on the front line in the field of eight. Our Jimmy Johnstone, an M8-class performer, should carry too many guns for his rivals, who include stablemate Our Regal Ideal, who will start from the inside of the back line. Our Regal Ideal has won at 11 of his 44 starts and he warmed up for his Albany assignment in fine style with an excellent second to American Boy at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The Bond stable and Bell also should be successful in the Auto One Albany Pace on Friday night with the talented, lightly-raced Messi, who boasts a fine record of eight starts for six wins and one placing. Ken Casellas

The transformation of Mister Daytona from a desultory and disinterested worker at Greg and Skye Bond’s Forrestdale stables to an enthusiastic and spirited harness racing performer on the racetrack is quite remarkable. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old continues to delight the Bonds, who own the stallion, and he now boasts a 75 per cent winning record, something that could be improved after he contests the first heat of the Lewis Pace, the WA Racing Hall of Fame Nominee Andy Sheahan event over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He fared badly in the random draw and will start from the outside in the field of six. However, it would be most unwise to discount the winning prospects of a pacer who has raced 20 times for 15 wins and one third placing for earnings of $95,174. “If you drive him at home you wouldn’t think that he’s that good,” said reinsman Ryan Warwick. “But when he comes to the racetrack he feels so much different. “He never worked particularly well, so we stopped hoppling him. We now just gallop him on the sand and don’t hopple him at all. At home, he’s very ordinary, but at the racetrack he has that desire to win. He’s won at 15 of his 20 starts in which he galloped in three of them. So, realistically, it is 15 from 17.” Mister Daytona overcame the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the Im Themightyquinn final last week when he charged forward, three wide early, dashed over the lead time in 36sec. and burst to the front after 500m before going on to win convincingly from Pay Me Cullen and James Galleon, with final quarters of 27.9sec. and 28.2sec.   He worked hard and covered extra ground before winning easily at his two previous outings, over 2130m at Gloucester Park and 2258m at Albany. On Friday night Mister Daytona is sure to receive stiff opposition from the polemarker Atlastalone and the talented five-year-old American Boy. Reinsman Michael Grantham declared that nine-year-old Atlastalone would set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and had the ability to defeat Mister Daytona. “He grows a leg in front and can repeat his all-the-way win last Friday night when he beat American Boy and Bounty Eyre,” he said. Warwick concedes that Atlastalone is a serious rival and said that he would be left with the task of making the decision to make his move from the rear with Mister Daytona. Ken Casellas

Promising three-year-old Messi, surprisingly beaten for the first time in a seven-start career when second to Starlight Brigade at Albany last Saturday night, gets his chance to make amends and return to the harness racing winning list when he contests the $18,000 Grace Smedley Pace over 1730m, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, the New Zealand-bred Lis Mara gelding carried all before him and was touted as a leading prospect for the WA Derby this year when he won in good style at his first six starts in a race (two as a two-year-old and four this season). He was favourite at 7/4 on when he started from the back line last Saturday night at his outing for two months. He raced in seventh position in the first lap before Ryan Warwick sent him forward, three wide, to move into the breeze outside the pacemaker Starlight Brigade. Messi got to the front, by a neck, at the 1200m mark, but was unable to cross to the front. He fought on gamely, but wilted in the closing stages to finish more than three lengths behind Starlight Brigade. He is sure to be improved by his first-up effort. However, he will need to be close to his top against some smart three-year-olds, including the only filly in the race, the Mike Reed-trained Beach Goddess, who will be driven by Colin Brown from the coveted No. 1 barrier on the front line. Beach Goddess won four times from eight starts as a two-year-old and she reappeared after an absence of seven and a half months in a 2130m event last Friday night in which she started out wide at barrier seven. She raced on the pegs in fifth position before fighting on to finish fourth behind stablemate Maczaffair. She is a smart frontrunner and Brown is likely to attempt an all-the-way win. The David Thompson-trained Allmightyjoelouis has resumed after a spell in fine style and demands plenty of respect. He will start from barrier six and looks set to fight out the finish. Allthemightyjoelouis will be handled by Gary Hall jun., who has excellent winning prospects with Soho Chelsea, Ideal Alice and American Boy. Ken Casellas

New Zealand-bred harness racing stallion Mister Daytona boasts an outstanding winning record of 74 per cent and he has excellent prospects of continuing on his merry way by overcoming the outside barrier (No. 9) and winning the $25,000 Mike Lang Im Themightyquinn final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The four-year-old continues to improve under the care of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who have given the horse plenty of time to mature. He has had 19 starts (five as a three-year-old and 14 as a four-year-old). His education has included travelling far and wide and he has already won on six tracks --- Gloucester Park (five), Bunbury (three), Pinjarra (two), Kalgoorlie (two) and one each at Northam and Albany. Rarely has he had the luxury of an ideal barrier and many of his wins have come after he has worked hard three wide and then in the breeze. He is by outstanding American sire American Ideal, but there is little to enthuse over when studying his pedigree. He is the first foal out of Chara, who was unplaced at her only three starts. Chara’s dam Rebecca’s Knight raced 13 times for one win --- when she rated 2.12.5 in scoring by a head in a 2000m C0 event at her debut on the grass track at Westport in December 1992. Mister Daytona started from the back line in a 2258m event in Albany last Saturday night when he started a three-wide move 650m after the start and then without cover before hitting the front 450m from home and winning by almost two lengths from Ohoka Squire. At Gloucester Park 11 days before that he raced three wide for much of the 2130m journey before dashing away to win by three lengths from Argyle Red at a 1.57 rate. The Bonds, who prepared Galactic Galleon for his victory in the Im Themightyquinn final two years ago, hold a powerful hand in this year’s final. Their other runners are Mighty Major (Nathan Turvey), Pay Me Cullen (Chris Lewis) and Robyns Raider (Ryan Bell). Mighty Major is favourably drawn at No. 1 on the front line, but he faces a stern test after he set the pace before wilting to eighth behind Mister Daytona at his most recent outing. Pay Me Cullen, a revitalised ten-year-old, looks sure to be prominent from barrier two. He gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy win over The Real Nadal and Soho Wonder in a qualifying heat last Friday night when he sped over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.7sec. Robyns Raider, a seven-year-old on the comeback trail, caught the eye in a qualifying heat when he raced in sixth position and charged home along the inside to finish second to Shirlz Sensation. Ken Casellas

Greg and Skye Bond, celebrating their century of winners this season when they landed a double at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, repeated the dose with a double at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening. And they should give punters a flying start by winning the opening event, the TABtouch Pace for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Friday night.    The Forrestdale master trainers will be pinning their hopes on Rock Diamonds, who is unbeaten at his first seven starts in Western Australia. The Bonds and reinsman Ryan Warwick are proving an all-conquering combination and they are on top of the national trainers’ and drivers’ premiership tables. An indication of the ability of Rock Diamond, a colt by Rocknroll Hanover who finished third at his only start in New Zealand, is that he has won his seven races in WA by a combined total of 64.7 metres --- an average winning margin of 9.14m. Rock Diamonds warmed up for Friday night’s assignment with an impressive victory at Pinjarra on Monday when he started from the back line, settled at the rear and then charged forward to move into the breeze before surging to the front 400m from home on his way to a four-length victory over Hindu Kumara, rating 1.58.6 over 2692m. Rock Diamonds is closely related to a former star from the Bond stables in Ohokas Bondy, who amassed $388,148 from 22 wins and nine placings from 44 starts. Among his victories were The Golden Slipper in 2010, the Caduceus Club Classic, the Western Gateway Pace and Battle of Bunbury in 2011 and the Nights of Thunder, the Four-Year-Old Classic at Pinjarra and the WA Triple Crown in 2012. Ohokas Bondy’s dam Asabella is the mother of Dancing Diamonds, the dam of Rock Diamonds. Ohokas Bondy’s half-brother Code Red won 12 races, six of them for trainer Gary Hall sen., including the 3309m Marathon Handicap at Gloucester Park in August 2012. Rock Diamonds certainly will not have things all his own way on Friday night when he will rise considerably in class, with his rivals including smart last-start winners in Im Rockaria, Maczaffair and Allmightyjoelouis and talented pacers El Barcelona and Major Pocket. Gary Hall jun. has given punters a strong lead by opting to drive the Michael Brennan-trained Im Rockaria in preference to El Barcelona, trained by his father Gary Hall sen. and the winner at four of his nine starts. “Im Rockaria can beat Rock Diamonds,” declared Hall jun., who drove Im Rockaria to an effortless all-the-way win by more than seven lengths from Bethany Aitch over 2285m at Albany on New Year’s Eve. “He led from barrier one at Albany, which is not a good draw on that track,” said Hall who was driving there for only the second time in his illustrious career. Im Rockaria, the winner of six of his ten starts, will be strongly fancied from the prized No. 1 barrier on Friday night. The Bonds and Warwick, apart from heading the national lists, hold commanding leads in the Statewide premierships. The Bonds have prepared 102 winners from 347 starters this season and lead from Gary Hall sen. (47 winners from 214 starters) and Warwick has had 245 drives for 84 winners and leads from Chris Lewis (70 wins from 393 drives) and Gary Hall jun. (66 wins from 289 starts).   Gloucester Park

A ninth and a tenth at his past two starts is hardly a strong recommendation for a harness racing pacer starting out wide at barrier eight in a race at Gloucester Park. But Galactic Star looks set to bounce back to winning form in race nine, an $18,500 M0 event on Friday night, when he should enjoy a dramatic drop in class.   The New Zealand-bred four-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond did not threaten danger when ninth behind Chicago Bull in the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic on November 25 and then was always well back before being blocked for a clear passage in the closing stages when tenth behind Soho Tribeca in the group 1 Golden Nugget Championship last Friday night. He appears to have a considerable edge in class over his eight rivals on Friday night and Ryan Warwick is likely to drive the Bettor's Delight gelding aggressively as the best horse in the race. Galactic Star has built up an impressive record of 11 wins and eight placings from only 24 starts and has a bright future. His chief rivals on Friday night could be Ultimate Major and Americanbootscoota. Ultimate Major, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo, was an impressive winner in a 2503m stand at Bunbury on Saturday night. He settled in sixth position before dashing to the front after about 700m and he sped over the final quarters in 27.5sec. and 28.5sec. to win in good style from stablemate Sky Art. That was his 11th win from 39 starts. He is certainly a realistic hope on Friday night, despite starting from the outside barrier in a field of nine. Americanbootscoota, a four-year-old to be driven by Brayden Green for Boyanup trainer Dennis Roche, has been unplaced at his past three starts. But he is a stylish, freewheeling frontrunner who could set a brisk pace and take plenty of catching. He started from barrier four on the back line and settled at the rear in the Williams Cup on Sunday before he dashed forward, three wide, to be third at the bell. However, he faded and finished eighth, ten lengths behind the winner Scoobys Delight.   Ken Casellas  

Up-and-coming harness racing four-year-old Vanquished is unbeaten at three starts since resuming from a spell and he has brought prospects of extending his winning sequence when he starts from the No. 2 barrier in the field of nine in the $23,000 TABtouch Interdominion Gala Dinner on December 9 Golden Nugget Prelude at Gloucester Park on Friday night.             Ryan Warwick, the gelding’s regular reinsman, was full of praise for Vanquished after he had defeated The Storm Chief and Braeview Bomber at a 1.55.9 rate over 2130m last Friday night. Vanquished, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, started from the outside of the back line and settled in ninth position. He dashed forward to be fifth and sustained his three-wide burst to hit the front 470m from home. He fought of determinedly to hold off challengers in the home straight. “He was entitled to get run over on the corner,” Warwick said. “But he stuck thick and got the job done. He probably didn’t measure up to three-year-old company last season because he was a bit rushed. “He’s now had time to eat some grass and settle and work it all out. He’s come back a nice horse.” The Bettor's Delight gelding has won at ten of his past 15 starts, with his West Australian record standing at 14 starts for nine wins and two seconds. However, Vanquished, a capable leader as well as proving to be a solid come-from-behind performer, faces a stern test, with several of his rivals racing in excellent form. The Justin Prentice-trained Natural Disaster is a smart frontrunner who should be prominent from the prized No. 1 barrier. He began speedily from barrier five when an all-the-way winner by nine lengths from Chelsea Royale at a 1.57.2 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on October 31. Natural Disaster then started from the outside barrier (No. 5) at Pinjarra on Monday of last week when he was always at the rear and paced roughly in the final stages before finishing a well-beaten tenth behind Soho Tribeca. Pinjarra trainer Gary Elson holds a good hand in the race with Sprinter (barrier three) and Ideal Tyson (No. 9). Sprinter has won at 13 of his 25 starts and should fight out the finish from his favourable draw, but Ideal Tyson (a winner at 13 of his 27 starts) faces a much tougher assignment from the outside barrier. Ace trainer Gary Hall sen. also has two runners in Mach Time (No. 7) and King Lebron (No. 8). Neither can be underestimated, but they will new a shade of luck from their wide barriers. Ken Casellas

Rarely has a combination of trainer and driver dominated the start of the harness racing season like Forrestdale trainers Greg and Skye Bond and reinsman Ryan Warwick, and punters should be well advised to adopt the motto “when on a good thing, stick to it” when making their investments at the meeting at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Bond stable has nine runners, six of whom will be driven by the 38-year-old Warwick, who is enjoying the most successful couple of years in a splendid career in the sulky. The Bonds and Warwick warmed up with a double with Mister Daytona and Mighty Major at Northam on Tuesday night. Warwick heads the national top 20 drivers’ list and the Bonds have a big lead on the national trainers’ premiership table. Warwick leads with 50 wins from Queenslanders Peter McMullen (43) and Shane Graham (41) and Victorian Chris Alford (39) and the Bonds have prepared 61 winners and lead from Queensland’s Grant Dixon (43). Warwick heads the WA drivers’ table with 50 wins, 17 ahead of Gary Hall jun. and the Bonds lead the WA list from Gary Hall sen. (23) and Ross Olivieri (17). The best of the Bond-Warwick runners on Friday night appear to be Dodolicious, Vanquished, Delightful Offer and Risk. Dodolicious, described by Warwick as “a horrible worker at home who gets the job done when she races,” will be on trial for the rich feature events for mares next month when she starts from barrier five in the 2130m Itzstein Pace in which she will clash with the in-form Hidden Bad and Foxy Dame and Giuliana Rancic. Dodolicious made a successful return to racing after a spell last Friday week when she led from barrier two and held on to defeat the fast-finishing Foxy Dame, who had trailed her throughout. Foxy Dame, who set a brisk pace before wilting to third behind Sheer Rocknroll and Chers Bettor Babe over 26536m last Friday night, is again perfectly drawn at barrier one this week and Shannon Suvaljko again looks certain to attempt an all-the-way win with the Mike Reed-trained mare. The talented but under-achieving Giuliana Rancic is handily drawn at barrier two for Gary Hall jun. and she is capable of causing an upset, despite having a losing sequence of 19. She impressed last Friday night when she sprinted home fast from the rear to finish fourth behind Sheer Rocknroll. Vanquished won with such authority last Friday night that he should be capable of repeating the dose in the $20,000 Popjoy Pace over 2130m. That was his ninth victory from his past 14 starts. He started from the outside (No. 9) and came from the rear to race in the breeze 1450m from home before getting to the front with 320m to travel and win, unextended, from  Eric James. “He did it pretty easily in the end and I didn’t turn the stick or pull the plugs,” Warwick said. Vanquished will start from the outside (three) on the back line on Friday night and Warwick is likely to send the smart four-year-old forward in the middle stages in a race in which his chief rivals could well be the Glenn Elliott-trained Braeview Bomber and the Merv Jupp-trained The Storm Chief, who impressed when he ended a losing sequence of 31 last Friday night when he charged home from eighth at the 400m to burst to the front 110m from the post and won by four lengths from Superimposed. Risk, a five-year-old by Changeover, is racing with great enthusiasm and he notched his 13th win from 37 starts when he was not extended in setting the pace and winning by more than a length from Braeview Bomber over 2130m last Friday night. He will start from the outside (barrier two) on the back line in the Fuller Pace in which he will clash with TABtouch interdominion championship hope John of Arc. “He’s very push button,” said Warwick. “He’s definitely got a lot of ability and his high speed is his major asset.” Herron trainer Clive Dalton has John of Arc ticking along nicely for his tilt at interdominion glory and the brilliant but injury-plagued seven-year-old will take a power of beating, despite his wide draw at No. 8 on the front line in the 2130m event this week. John of Arc raced three wide early and then without cover before winning from the pacemaker Ideal Alice and Our Jimmy Johnstone at a 1.54.4 rate over 2130m last Friday week. Ken Casellas

Stylish New Zealand-bred pacer Risk, a first acceptor for the TABtouch inter dominion championship, will not contest the rich harness racing series which gets underway with the opening set of qualifying heats on November 25. Instead he is being set for the Kersley Pace, the final of which will be run on the opening night of the Inters. Co-trainers Greg and Skye Bond have a high opinion of Risk, but they have decided to wait another 12 months before the five-year-old contests an interdominion championship series. “Risk is only an M2-class pacer and he won’t go round in this year’s series,” Greg Bond said. “We will be relying on Our Jimmy Johnstone, Phoenix Warrior, Delightful Offer, Simply Susational and Ima Connoisseur.” Risk looks a good bet on Friday night’s ten-event program in which he is favourably drawn at barrier two in the first qualifying heat of the Kersley Pace. He should make amends for two seconds and a third in stronger company at his past three starts. Risk was far from disgraced at his latest appearance, over 2130m last Friday week when he started from the outside (No. 9) on the front line and was restrained to the rear by Ryan Warwick. Warwick started a three-wide move approaching the bell and Risk sustained a solid burst from eighth with a lap to travel to finish third behind Red Salute and Jambiani. The Bonds have a good second string in Friday night’s heat, with Burning to be driven by Ryan Bell from the outside barrier in a field of seven runners. Burning is a versatile performer whose recent efforts have been sound. He has raced 53 times for 17 wins and 17 placings. Perhaps Risk’s chief rival will be Commander Chapel, who impressed at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when he was eighth at the bell and fifth at the 250m mark before charging home to finish a neck second to the pacemaker Shardons Rocket in an up-tempo 2185m event in which the final quarters whizzed by in 28.8sec., 27.7sec., 28.8sec. and 29.1sec. Commander Chapel, an all-the-way Gloucester Park winner over Bungalow Bill two starts earlier, will start from barrier six. Ken Casellas

Ryan Warwick, the runaway leader on the Statewide harness racing drivers’ premiership table, is not fazed that noted frontrunner Vanquished has drawn the outside barrier in the field of nine to contest the 2536m Westral WA Owned and Operated Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. In fact, he disagreed with the general consensus that Vanquished is purely a frontrunner and said that the New Zealand-bred Bettor's Delight four-year-old was capable of producing a strong finishing effort when driven back in the field. Vanquished, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has set the pace in all of his past five starts for three wins, one second and a sixth behind Harry Hoo. Warwick, who has driven 42 winners and leads the drivers’ table from Gary Hall jun. (29) and Chris Lewis (28), said that Vanquished had the ability to overcome the disadvantage of his outside barrier. The toughest for Vanquished to beat is likely to be the Kristian Hawkins-trained All The Torque, who will start from barrier five. All The Torque showed a return to form at Wagin last Friday night when he raced without cover and fought on gamely to finish a close second to Donovan Bromac over 2180m. “I’d say that Vanquished, along with Risk, are my best drives on the program,” he said. “Heez About To Rock (race one) and Superimposed (race two) were disappointing when finishing well back behind Shardons Rocket at Pinjarra on Monday, and Simply Susational will find it tough from out wide at barrier seven in the main race. Warwick will also handle last-start winner Our Regal Ideal in the Westral Plantation Timber Shutters Pace and the five-year-old, drawn at barrier five, is an each-way prospect in a filed in which Rycroft and Twoandahalf Tigers are expected to dominate betting discussions. Ken Casellas

Greg and Skye Bond, the State’s leading harness racing trainers, were shattered 12 months ago when Our Jimmy Johnstone received a fractured leg in a stable mishap and had to miss the 2015 interdominion championship series. But now they are in a buoyant, optimistic mood and are looking forward to the eight-year-old performing strongly in the rich TABtouch interdominion championship series which gets under way with the opening set of heats at Gloucester Park on November 25. Our Jimmy Johnstone will reappear after a three-month absence when Ryan Warwick drives him in the 2016 TABtouch Interdominion Begins Nov. 25 Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will start from the outside barrier (No. 9), but has the class to overcome that disadvantage and get his championship campaign away to a flying start. “He was set for last year’s Inters, but he got kicked in one of his front legs in the paddock and we had to tip him out for several months,” Greg Bond said. “He suffered a hairline fracture to his leg, but has made a complete recovery.” The untimely injury kept Our Jimmy Johnstone out of action for nine months before he resumed racing in the final week of last May when he finished a close second to Mighty Flying Thomas. Our Jimmy Johnstone soon struck top form and won at three of his final four starts before going for a brief spell early in August. “Friday night’s race is really just a start-off point heading towards the Inters,” Bond said. “We thought that we would take the softer option (contesting a C10 to C15-class event) rather than run in the open-class event. “I don’t think we’ll come out all guns a blazing; we’ll probably let him find his feet and he can work into the race whenever Ryan thinks it is appropriate, at the 1100m or 1000m. His performance will give us a good gauge to where he’s at. “This will be a good platform to begin his campaign. We’ll probably give him a couple of more starts before the heats. He is pretty fit and forward and I expect him to be very competitive this week. After his latest run he had a couple of weeks in the paddock and then we brought him back and worked him up, nice and slow, just to get the miles into his legs. “He’s had a fair amount of work and his work would suggest he’s going to be right in the finish in Friday night’s race, for sure. “If John of Arc (drawn out wide at No. 8) goes forward gets to the breeze, and they walk, then John of Arc, who is a quality horse, will be hard to beat. But if it is a genuinely-run race it will bring Our Jimmy Johnstone right into it. “Our Jimmy Johnstone is no Lennytheshark or Hectorjayjay, but he is a horse capable of running fast times. If he is not over-taxed early in the Inters races, he should be hitting the line as well as most of the other horses.” The injury-plagued John of Arc, trained at Herron in the South-West of the State by Clive Dalton, should be close to his peak after two excellent efforts since resuming after an eight-month absence. He raced wide early and then in the breeze when a close first-up fourth behind Ima Connoisseur on September 30 and then two weeks later he had a similar run when a well-beaten second to the brilliant Chicago Bull. The Bonds will also be represented in Friday night’s race by Bettor Offer and Bounty Eyre and Gary Hall sen. will be looking for forward showings from his smart mares Ideal Alice and Delightful Jade. Bond declared that Our Jimmy Johnstone was his No. 1 hope for the Inters, ahead of Simply Susational, Phoenix Warrior, Delightful Offer and Ima Connoisseur. Ima Connoisseur notched his fifth win in a row when he gave a typical strong frontrunning performance to win at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.  But Bond ranks the speedy five-year-old behind stablemates Simply Susational and Delightful Offer as an Inters prospect. “Ima Connoisseur is still developing as a horse and at this stage the other ones are a bit more hardened and seasoned. However, he is improving all the time and with his gate speed he’ll definitely be able to be up there in the firing line. But a lot depends on whether he has the mental toughness at the moment to handle racing against the best.” Ken Casellas

Leading harness racing trainers Greg and Skye Bond are setting a scorching pace in the early stages of the 2016-17 season and their ten runners, all bred in New Zealand, will have a massive following at Gloucester Park on Friday night. They have bright prospects of making a flying start by winning the second event, the $20,000 Clipsal By Schneider Pace, with Risk, a highly-promising five-year-old by Changeover. Risk, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) in the 2130m event. But he has the class to overcome that disadvantage. He started from the No. 9 barrier at his most recent appearance, over 2130m on September 23 when he raced in ninth and last position before dashing forward, three wide, to be fourth at the bell. He fought on grandly to finish second, just one metre behind Mynameskenny when the final quarters whizzed by in 27.8sec. and 28.3sec. His first five starts in WA have produced three wins and two seconds. His chief rival on Friday night is likely to be stablemate Burning, who is ideally drawn at barrier one. Burning raced three back on the pegs before running home solidly to be fourth behind Chicago Bull over 2130m last Friday night. He also produced a powerful burst when second to stablemate Ima Connoisseur two starts before that. Last-start winners Commander Chapel (Chris Lewis), Jambiani (Chris Voak) and Firebomb (Shannon Suvaljko) also will have admirers. The Bond stable has established a commanding early lead on the WA Statewide trainers’ premiership table, with 41 winners, followed by Gary Hall sen. (17) and Ross Olivieri (12). The Bonds also head the national table, with Queensland’s Chantal Turpin in second place with 29 winners. Warwick is in devastating form in the sulky and he leads the WA premiership table with 34 winners, well ahead of Gary Hall jun. (21), Chris Lewis (20), Nathan Turvey (18) and Michael Grantham (17). Warwick also leads the national list, 13 winners ahead of Queensland’s Shane Graham. He boasts a tremendous winning strike rate of 40 per cent.    Like the Bonds, Hall sen. has ten runners, all bred in New Zealand, engaged at the ten-event program on Friday night. All have sound prospects, with his best chances likely to be Beaudiene Boaz, Tact Major, King Lebron and Mach Time.  Ken Casellas

All-conquering trainers Greg and Skye Bond have made a flying start to the 2016-17 season and the stable looks set for further successes with 12 talented runners engaged at the ten-event harness racing program at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Bonds will be strongly favoured to dominate the $23,000 Slater-Gartrell Sports Pace in which their three runners, Phoenix Warrior, Ima Connoisseur and Delightful Offer, are in splendid form and are the only last-start winners in the field of 12. Six-year-old Phoenix Warrior is the best credentialled of the trio, with earnings of $194,550 from 20 wins and 21 placings from 62 starts. But he is the worst drawn at No. 9, the outside of the front line in the 2130m event. Ima Connoisseur (17 wins, 17 placings and $186,216 in prizemoney) and Delightful Offer (14 wins, six placings and $163,346) are five-year-olds by Bettors Delight who are racing with commendable spirit. Ima Connoisseur, one of the State’s most improved pacers, is favourably drawn at barrier No. 3 on the back line in the 2130m event, while Delightful Offer will start out wide at No. 7 on the front line. The Bonds have raced away to an early lead in the Statewide trainers’ premiership, with 30 winners in the first 35 days of the season. They lead from Gary Hall sen. (14 wins) and Ross Olivieri and Nathan Turvey (nine). Ryan Warwick, the stable’s No. 1 driver, has landed 23 winners and leads the drivers’ premiership table from Michael Grantham (16), Gary Hall jun. (15) and Turvey (14). Phoenix Warrior notched his fifth win from his past 13 starts when he raced in sixth position before sustaining a powerful last-lap burst to win narrowly from the pacemaker Our Jericho over 2550m in Kalgoorlie last Friday week. He sat behind the pacemaker Bettors Fire when a sound third to that pacer over 2130m at Gloucester Park at his previous outing and a week before that he gave a grand performance to race three wide for much of the way and win from El Machine and Change Gear over 2130m Ima Connoisseur notched his fourth win in a row when he began speedily from barrier seven, led after 175m and went on to win  by more than a length from fast-finishing stablemate Burning and Lisharry at a 1.54.8 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday night. He revealed abundant stamina at his two previous starts when he finished strongly after racing without cover all the way. Delightful Offer gave a sample of his class at Gloucester Park last Friday week when he started from the outside barrier and settled at the rear before starting a three-wide run at the bell which carried him to victory over the pacemaker Commander Chapel. The Bond stable also holds a very strong hand in the $21,000 Hi Temp Services Pace over 2130m on Friday night, with four runners, Bungalow Bill, Burning, Ima Tragedy and Offtocullect. Bungalow Bill, to be driven by Lauren Jones, has a 44 per cent winning record and looks the pick of the quartet from barrier three on the front line. Bungalow Bill worked hard in the breeze before finishing determinedly to score a narrow in over the pacemaking Ima Tragedy at a 1.55 rate over 1730m last Friday night. The final sections were covered in 27.8sec. and 28sec. Ken Casellas

Harness racing lightly-raced five-year-old Bungalow Bill is racing with wonderful heart and he looks capable of overcoming g a back-line draw and winning the $20,500 Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Bettors Delight gelding, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has shown admirable determination to be placed at his past two starts after working hard in the breeze. This week he will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and could enjoy racing with a sit. A fast pace will suit Bungalow Bill and this looks extremely likely with several speedy beginners and noted frontrunners in the field. They include the polemarker Bonny Under Fire, Paid Twice (barrier two), Thats Rite, Change Gear and Bhagwan. And Another Vinnie, who will start from the outside of the front line, looks certain to ensure a fast pace by surging forward in the first lap. Bungalow Bill, to be driven by Ryan Warwick, began speedily from the No. 4 barrier last Friday night, but was unable to wrest the lead from Mynameskenny. He raced in the breeze and refused to surrender when Mynameskenny sprinted over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 27.7sec. He was beaten by less than a half-length by Mynameskenny, who rated 1.56.3 over the 2130m trip. A week earlier, Bungalow Bill started out wide at barrier seven and raced outside the pacemaker Ideal Justice. He got to a narrow lead 300m from home before wilting late to finish third behind Say It Now and Lady Willoughby. He led from the No. 1 barrier and won easily from Rycroft and Royal Mach at his previous outing. The likelihood of a fast pace also should suit the well-performed Smokey The Bandit, who will be driven by Michael Grantham from the outside of the back line. Last Friday night Smokey The Bandit trailed the pacemaker Change Gear and finished strongly to be third behind Ima Connoisseur and Risk in a fast-run 1730m event. Four days before that the seven-year-old grey finished solidly to be third to Nicnak Paddy Wak over 2100m at Bunbury. Ken Casellas

Our Jimmy Johnstone is rapidly developing into one of Western Australia’s leading harness racing contenders for the TABtouch Interdominion championship late this year and he will enhance his reputation if he overcomes a wide draw and wins the $23,000 Hi Temp Services Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Though the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old trained by Greg and Skye Bond is not generally regarded as a sprint specialist, he is, indeed, a talented sprinter, with his four appearances over 1730m producing a win at a 1.53.7 rate, two seconds and a sixth. He also finished third to My Hard Copy over 1609m at Bunbury in June last year. To notch his third win in a row Our Jimmy Johnstone will have to overcome the disadvantage of starting out wide at barrier eight in the field of nine on Friday night. He has the ability, the class and the form to do that. Our Jimmy Johnstone showed good gate speed from barrier five in a 2130m event last Friday night and Ryan Warwick dashed him to the front after 500m. The gelding was untroubled to reel off quarters in 29.5sec., 28.7sec., 27.8sec. and 28.8sec. and he was not extended in winning by just over two lengths from Waylade at a 1.54.2 rate. A week earlier Our Jimmy Johnstone started from the back line in a 2536m event. He raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before moving to fourth, three wide, at the bell and then taking the lead 320m from home and winning easily by two and a half lengths from the fast-finishing Mighty Flying Thomas at a 1.55.8 rate. Ricimer, trained by Gary Hall sen., has struck a purple patch and the brilliant frontrunner has strung together five wins in a row at Gloucester Park. He will start from the No. 4 barrier, but is no certainty to set the pace, with speedy beginner and smart frontrunner Dredlock Rockstar drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier. Dredlock Rockstar, trained in Busselton by Jamie Howlett, has been freshened up and will be having his first start for eight weeks. The most recent time Dredlock Rockstar started from the No. 1 barrier was five starts ago, over 1730m at Gloucester Park on April 15 when Ash Markham drove him to a convincing all-the-way victory over Bronze Seeker, rating 1.53.9. His final quarters were run in 27.2sec., 30.4sec., 29.4sec. and 27.2sec. A repeat of that performance would make him hard to beat this week. Copagrin, to be driven by Morgan Woodley for West Swan trainer John Guagliardo, is favourably drawn at barrier two and is capable of a strong showing. His two runs after a spell have been encouraging. He impressed last Friday week when he was ninth at the bell before rattling home to finish a close-up fifth behind Our Jimmy Johnstone. The Hall stable will be represented by Ricimer, Waylade and Cyamach, with Waylade and Cyamach facing tough tasks from wide draws. However, Waylade started from barrier six last Friday night and caught the eye when he finished strongly from seventh at the bell to be second to Our Jimmy Johnstone. Considerable interest will surround the reappearance of top-flight pacer Bettors Fire, a brilliant sprinter as well as being a powerful stayer. Bettors Fire is trained and driven by Kyle Harper and is being set for the TABtouch interdominion championship series in November and December. He has not raced since finishing second to the pacemaker Cyamach in the 2130m Lord Mayor’s Cup at Gloucester Park on January 29. Proof of Bettors Fire’s sprinting ability is in the fact that he has won the 1730m Mount Eden Sprint in November 2013, rating 1.53.8 in defeating Im Victorious and Dredlock Rockstar. He was third behind Sensational Gabby and Dredlock Rockstar in the 2014 Mount Eden Sprint and fourth behind Waylade, My Hard Copy and Libertybelle Midfrew in that event last November. Ken Casellas

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