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Shannon Suvaljko, last season’s leading reinsman, has given punters a handy tip by electing to drive Regal Ambition in preference to Brookies Jet in the 1730m Garrards Horse And Hound Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Regal Ambition, trained at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, has managed just one placing from his past 11 starts. But Suvaljko chose him as his drive after the seven-year-old drew the coveted No. 1 barrier over the sprint journey. He drove Brookies Jet for Serpentine trainer Matt Scott last Friday night when the gelding set the pace before wilting over the final stages of the 2536m event to finish fifth behind Ace Bromac. Brookies Jet, a smart frontrunner who has been placed at four of his nine starts this season, will be handled by Chris Voak. Regal Ambition is an honest performer and a good frontrunner, and Suvaljko will be anxious to get the horse to jump in front and then dictate terms. He is proving a handy acquisition for Debbie and John Padberg, who outlaid $12,000 to purchase him 12 months ago after he had won nine minor events in Victoria. He has raced 30 times for the Padbergs for two wins, four placings and earnings of $20,814. Regal Ambition could be challenged for the early lead by the Graham Cummins-trained nine-year-old Blissntheblack, who has a losing sequence of 26, but has shown encouraging form in recent weeks with three placings from his past four starts. Blissntheblack was first out from barrier three in a 2130m event on Tuesday afternoon and then, after 200m, trailed the pacemaker Thisbeachrighthere before finishing a sound third to that pacer. Suvaljko will also drive Cracka Star (race one), Three Kings (two) and Bad Round (seven) for the Padbergs.  Cracka Star will appreciate a drop in class in a qualifying heat of the Retravision Kersley Pace, in which he will start from barrier No. 6. He raced three back on the pegs in sixth position before finishing solidly to be third behind Maczaffair and Eden Franco in the $30,000 York Cup last Friday night. He will clash with in-form pacers Our Max Phactor, Tyler Brett and Ace Bromac, but is capable of a bold showing. Our Max Phactor, a New Zealand-bred six-year-old is blossoming under the care of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and should prove hard to beat. He will start from the inside of the back line, with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. Our Max Phactor has raced 78 times for 17 wins and 21 placings. He is unbeaten in eight starts for the Bonds in WA (six in stands and two in mobiles) and his average winning margin is 5m. He is unbeaten at six appearances at Gloucester Park. Tyler Brett, trained and driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, has resumed after a spell in fine form with a first-up victory over Kerrin Joseph and Thereugo at Pinjarra and a second placing behind Saying Grace at Northam after covering a lot of extra ground. The Kyle Harper trained and driven Ace Bromac bounced back to his best form last Friday night when he was last in the middle stages before thundering home from eighth at the bell to win by two and a half lengths from Estocada over 2536m last Friday night. Ken Casellas

The Bond juggernaut looks set to sustain its relentless dominance of harness racing with crack sprinter Galactic Star poised to prove mighty hard to beat in the $25,000 Pat Cranley Memorial over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Some pacing aficionados contend that Galactic Star is a better stayer than a sprinter, pointing to his head second to Assassinator in the 2902m Easter Cup last year and six wins over distances ranging from 2503m to 2631m but the New Zealand-bred six-year-old is a splendid sprinter, having won twice over 1609m at Bunbury in 1.53.1 and 1.53.8 and twice over 1730m at Gloucester Park, rating 1.52 and 1.55.4. He is awkwardly drawn at barrier six in the field of nine across one line and Ryan Warwick will seriously consider giving Galactic Star time to settle before sending him forward. Galactic Star began off the 10m mark in a $30,000 standing-start feature event at Pinjarra on Monday of last week and he settled down in seventh place before he surged forward to take the lead after 800m. He covered the final quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.8sec. and won by a neck from stablemate Rock Diamonds. That was his first appearance since August 24 and he is sure to have derived great benefit from the outing.        Galactic Star and his smart stablemate Vampiro are still on track to contest the Interdominion championship in Victoria next month. Greg and Skye Bond, who prepare Galactic Star, will also be represented in Friday night’s event by evergreen veteran Our Jimmy Johnstone and up-and-coming five-year-old Rock Diamonds. Our Jimmy Johnstone is handily drawn at barrier three and will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green. The ten-year-old resumed after a spell in fine style last Friday week when he raced wide early and then enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before running home strongly to be an eye-catching second to Vampiro in the 2130m James Brennan Memorial. A winner of 27 races, Our Jimmy Johnstone is a smart sprinter who rated 1.54.3 when he led from the No. 2 barrier and won the 1730m Members Sprint at Gloucester Park in May of last year, rating 1.54.3 and beating Beaudiene Boaz by one length. Another proven sprinter in this week’s race is Tricky Styx, who will be driven by Aiden de Campo from the prized No. 1 barrier. The Jesse Moore-trained seven-year-old mare is in good form and looks the likely leader. She has had eight starts over 1730m for four wins and has also won over 1609m, 1684m and 1780m. The Bond stable which was successful in the Cranley Memorial with Motu Treasure in 2010 and Midnight Dylan in 2013, is setting a cracking pace and leads the trainers’ premiership with 50 winners from 109 starters. This gives them a 26-win lead over Gary Hall Snr. Warwick also has a commanding lead on the drivers’ premiership table. He has driven 52 winners from 113 starters and leads by 18 from Chris Lewis. The Bonds also have strong claims in several events on Friday night. Apart from Galactic Star and Our Jimmy Johnstone, the Bond camp has excellent prospects with Our Max Phactor, Dodolicious, Mighty Conqueror, Lincs Tiger and Infinite Symbol. Ken Casellas

Inexperienced New Zealand-bred gelding Mighty Conqueror will make his first appearance at Gloucester Park when he contests the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Championship on Friday night and owner-trainers Greg and Skye Bond have high hopes that he will extend his winning sequence to four to strengthen his claims for a start in the $125,000 Yes Loans Four-Year-Old Classic in a fortnight and the $200,000 Retravision Golden Nugget two weeks after that. Mighty Conqueror arrived in Western Australia five months ago and has scored an effortless victory at Kellerberrin and two stylish wins at Pinjarra in considerably weaker company than he will meet this week. This will be a serious test for the son of American Ideal who has won at six of his seven starts. He will be handled by Ryan Warwick and has drawn favourably at barrier two on the front line of the 2130m event. Mighty Conqueror possesses excellent gate speed, but so does several of his handily-drawn opponents, Think About Me (barrier one), Bechers Brook (three) and Golden State (five). Mighty Conqueror led and won by more than six lengths at Kellerberrin before leading and sprinting the final 400m in 27sec. to beat Carrera Mach by a length at Pinjarra. He revealed his versatility at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon when Warwick restrained him from barrier six and the gelding settled down in tenth position before he showed sparkling speed to dash forward and take up the running about 1200m from home and then cover the final three quarters in 29.1sec., 29.1sec. and 26.9sec. He won by 19.6m from Danny Del Vito. Mighty Conqueror showed splendid gate speed at his final appearance in New Zealand, in a 2200m event at Invercargill on May 26 when he was first out from barrier four. He was restrained after 200m to take the sit behind Smooth Mara and was eased off the pegs 300m from home, took the lead 150m from the post and won from the fast-finishing Young Conqueror, his elder half-brother. The Bonds will also be represented in Friday night’s race by Bright Diamond, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier six. Bright Diamond is in fine form, with his past ten starts producing six wins, three seconds and one third. Mighty Conqueror’s toughest rivals loom large as the Mike Reed-trained pair of Bechers Brook and Golden State and the polemarker Think About Me, who has won at each of his past four starts and will be driven by Stuart McDonald. He is prepared by Gary Hall snr, who is in New Zealand. Dylan Egerton-Green will handle Bechers Brook, who has raced 19 times for ten wins, seven placings and $143,143 in stakes. Bechers Brook warmed up for his important assignment this week when he finished stoutly from sixth at the bell to be second to the brilliant Jack Mack over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. He is generally recognised as a powerful sit-sprinter, but he also possesses excellent gate speed. Golden State, a winner at seven of his 16 starts, has wonderful potential and has impressed with his sizzling gate speed. He will be driven by Mark Reed, who could well attempt to steal a march on his rivals by using the horse’s early brilliance. Pinjarra trainer Aiden Warwick has two runners, Shadow Maker (Nathan Turvey) and Sweet N Fast (Aldo Cortopassi). Each show considerable promise, but they face hard tasks this week from wide draws. Our Corelli’s prospects also slumped when he drew the outside barrier (No. 9) and the Justin Prentice trained and driven gelding will lead a lot of luck to overcome this significant disadvantage. Our Corelli has set the pace and won at three of his past four outings, one at Gloucester Park and two at Pinjarra, but he will be at liberal odds from his poor draw. Ken Casellas 

Two strong performances in recent trials are a firm indication that Gotta Go Gabbana is poised for a forward showing at her return to racing in the second event, the TABtouch Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Gotta Go Gabbana, trained at Banjup by Annie Belton and bred and owned by her and her husband Colin, will start from the No. 5 barrier, with regular reinsman Chris Voak in the sulky. The five-year-old with an imposing record of 33 starts for ten wins, eight seconds and five thirds, has completed a solid preparation for her first-up assignment with three trials, two at Pinjarra and one at Byford. At Pinjarra on October 14, Gotta Go Gabbana broke 30m after the start and made up several lengths to be a nose second to the pacemaker Walkabout Creek. A fortnight later at Byford, Gotta Go Gabbana raced without cover in the middle stages and took the lead with 500m to travel before winning from the fast-finishing Brotha Ofa Gangsta, rating 1.59.2 over 2150m. At Pinjarra on Sunday morning, Gotta Go Gabbana rated 1.57.2 over 2185m when a nose second to Bettor Reward. She raced in the breeze over the final 1400m and sprinted over the third 400m section of the final mile in 27.6sec. before a final quarter in 29.3sec. She got to the front 50m from the post and was joined on the line by the experienced campaigner Bettor Reward. Gotta Go Gabbana, a last-start winner at Gloucester Park on June 29, will start from the No. 5 barrier on Friday night and will meet with stiff opposition from Im Soxy, Soho Chelsea, Maxentius, Arthur Lowe, Always Arjay and Forever Remembered. Maxentius is sure to fight out the finish and deserves a change of fortune after very unlucky seconds at his past two starts. However, he will need all the breaks from an awkward draw at barrier six. Maxentius, trained and driven by Colin Brown, settled in seventh position, started a three-wide burst with 1100m to travel and then raced in the breeze before getting to the front at the 450m and then being outgunned in the final stages by Khun Ratha, who had enjoyed a perfect passage behind the pacemaker Handsandwheels. Maxentius had torrid run and covered a lot of extra ground when an unlucky second to Bechers Brook at his previous appearance, a fortnight earlier. Im Soxy will also have many admirers after drawing the No. 1 barrier. He led early from barrier one and then took the sit behind Thereugo before finishing fast to win from Carter Micheal and Thereugo last Friday night.   Ken Casellas

Bettor Finish is proving costly to punters, but he has bright prospects of breaking a losing sequence of ten by winning the ninth event, the Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The Barry Howlett-trained five-year-old has been strongly fancied in several recent starts and will again be driven by Chris Lewis. From his perfect draw at barrier one this week he looks set to lead and is sure to take plenty of catching. He started from the No. 1 barrier three starts ago, but was surprisingly beaten out by Ultimate Major (barrier five) and Thereugo (seven). He then raced three back on the pegs in fifth position before running home strongly, out five wide, to be third behind Thereugo and Chiaroscuro, with the final 800m being covered in a smart 55.9sec. The previous time Bettor Finish started from the No. 1 barrier was 11 starts ago when he set the pace and dashed over the final 800m in 56.3sec. to win from Righteous Brother and Forever Faster over 2130m last May. Howlett has a good second string in Hes Royal Blue, who fought on gamely when a well-beaten third behind the talented Our Corelli over 2185m at Pinjarra three Mondays ago. Challenging the Howlett pair will be The Arsonist and Luis Alberto, from the stables of champion trainer Gary Hall Snr. The Arsonist (Micheal Ferguson) will start from barrier six and Lauren Jones will drive Luis Alberto from barrier four. The Arsonist, at his second appearance after a 25-month absence, gave an encouraging performance last Friday night when he started out wide at barrier eight and came from last in the middle stages to finish third behind Wesley over 1730m. In the same event Luis Alberto disappointed as the 10/9 on favourite when he lacked sparkle and finished seventh. That followed his sound first-up second to stablemate Benhope Rulz when he enjoyed a soft run behind the pacemaker.   Another good winning prospect from the Howlett stable in Busselton will be Major Stare in race six, the HLB Mann Judd Pace, in which the lightly-raced New Zealand-bred seven-year-old will start from the outside of the back line and will be driven for the first time by Aiden de Campo. Major Stare will be having his first start for six months, but is capable of a bold first-up showing. He has raced only 33 times for ten wins, seven seconds and seven thirds. He is a half-brother to Chancellor Cullen, a winner of $327,973 from 38 starts in Australia and New Zealand for 13 wins and nine placings. Chancellor Cullen won the group 1 McInerney Ford Classic for four-year-olds at Gloucester Park in November 2012, beating Bronze Seeker in a desperately close finish by a half-head. Major Stare gave a sample of his ability when he set the pace for Lang Inwood and won the Albany Cup last February from classy pacers Galactic Star and Handsandwheels.     Ken Casellas

In-form reinsman Ado Cortopassi, with 20 wins in the first two months of the 2018-19 season, has been engaged to drive Walkinshaw for the first time when the New Zealand-bred six-year-old stallion starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the opening event, the Ballantyne Showcase Jewellers Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Walkinshaw, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, will resume his rivalry with the exciting Kimani and their clash should be one of the highlights on the ten-event program. Kimani showed that he will win many more races with a dashing performance last Friday night when he started from barrier eight and thundered home from eighth at the bell to hit the front 120m from the post and win easily from Starlight Brigade, rating 1.57.5 over 2130m. That was Kimani’s second outing after a spell (following his excellent second to Chiaroscuro) and he looms large as the chief rival for Walkinshaw, who will be resuming racing after an absence of 15 weeks. Walkinshaw made his debut when he started in a heat of the Young Guns (for two-year-olds) at Alexandra Park on December 31, 2014 and finished a sound fifth behind Lazarus and just a neck behind Kimani in fourth place. The two pacers met again in two heats of the three-year-old Sires, with Kimani holding the upper hand with a second and a third to Walkinshaw’s fifth and fourth placings. Then they clashed again, with Walkinshaw finishing third behind Lazarus and Chase The Dream in the Group 1 Great Northern Derby at Alexandra Park, and Kimani finishing ninth. Walkinshaw won at six of his 17 starts in New Zealand and his 16 starts in Western Australia have produced seven wins and five placings. He has an impeccable first-up record for Williams, having scored strong victories at each of his two first WA runs after a spell. This will be the first time in WA that Walkinshaw will start from the No. 1 barrier. He has started three times from the No. 8 barrier for two seconds and a sixth, five times from barrier six for four wins and a sixth, twice from barrier five for a first and a second, twice from barrier four for a win and a fourth and four times from the back line for a first, second, third and a fourth placing. Young Banjup trainer-reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green will be anxious to be the fly in the ointment by upstaging Walkinshaw and Kimani with his smart, lightly-raced seven-year-old Suspicious Life, who is ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line. Suspicious Life has sparkling gate speed and Egerton-Green will be strongly tempted to make a spirited bid for the early lead. Egerton-Green restrained Suspicious Life from barrier six last Friday night and the gelding raced in ninth position before he sustained a powerful three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Danieljohn and Bettor Not Bitter. Suspicious Life was hampered by a flat tyre over the final 400m. At his previous appearance, Suspicious Life began from the inside of the back line and impressed when he finished fast to win from Scotlynn Beach at a 1.55.6 rate over 1730m. Serpentine trainer Clint Hall has engaged Michael Blakemore to drive Mattjestic Star to take advantage of Blakemore’s claim as a novice. Mattjestic Star ended a losing sequence of 38 when he raced fiercely in the breeze for the first 1000m before charging to the front and racing away to win by almost seven lengths over 2130m. He is the solitary runner off the back line this week. Ken Casellas

Talented six-year-old El Jacko, one of the few pacers to have beaten champion Chicago Bull in Western Australia, will reappear after a brief spell when he contests the $30,000 Group 3 TABtouch York Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night. For the New Zealand-bred gelding, who is being aimed at feature summer carnival events, this will be a rare experience starting from the coveted No. 1 barrier. El Jacko, owned by Skye Bond and prepared by her and her husband Greg, has had 33 starts in WA for 14 wins and 12 placings and the only time he started from the No. 1 barrier was at Pinjarra in February 2016 when he set the pace and won by four lengths from stablemate Donegal Kahlum. That remains as his only all-the-way victory in Australia. He has worked forward in the first lap to take the lead only three times. Many of his wins have come after he has worked hard in the breeze. El Jacko possesses excellent gate speed and leading reinsman Ryan Warwick is sure to take advantage of the draw by attempting to hold up and set the pace. He has been out of action for 11 weeks since he was a 5/1 on favourite from barrier No. 8 and finished a 5m second to stablemate and pacemaker Mighty Mr Sharkey over 2536m at Gloucester Park on August 24 when the final 800m was covered in 56.8sec. It will not be an easy task for El Jacko to hold the early lead against several speedy beginners, including Overboard Again (barrier two), Eden Franco, Maczaffair, Devendra and Argyle Red. Overboard Again, prepared by Gary Hall Snr, will be strongly fancied, despite his seventh behind Vampiro in the James Brennan Memorial last Friday night when he was a $45 outsider from the outside of the back line. He raced four back on the pegs and was hampered for room in the closing stages. Overboard Again impressed a week earlier when he started from barrier four, raced three wide early and took the lead after 500m before bowling along in front and winning by a half-length from odds-on favourite Eden Franco, with final quarters of 27.8sec. and 28.2sec. Lauren Jones has been engaged to drive Overboard Again for the first time, in the absence of star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr (in New Zealand) and Stuart McDonald (serving a seven-day suspension). The Colin Brown-trained and driven Eden Franco was gallant in defeat when second to Overboard Again last Friday week and she is set to run a bold race. That strong effort followed Eden Franco’s excellent first-up all-the-way win over Mitch Maguire. Maczaffair, the other mare in Friday night’s Cup, will start from the No. 4 barrier and is capable of vast improvement after unplaced runs at her past two starts. She will again be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green for trainer Mike Reed. The prospects of the Justin Prentice-trained and driven Rocknroll Lincoln, a winner at five of his past nine starts, slumped when he drew the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. For the record, El Jacko raced without cover before winning from the pacemaker Franco Rayner and Chicago Bull (at his Australian debut) in a 1730m event for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on November 27, 2015. Then, El Jacko again asserted his authority over Chicago Bull when he won the 2692 Alcoa Cup at Pinjarra on September 26, 2016, beating the runner-up, Chicago Bull, by 2.2m.   Ken Casellas

It's not often in Harness Racing that a first starter winning a mid-week race could throw a spanner in a Gr.1 market; but thats exactly what happened today when Gary Hall Snr produced Ideal Liner to victory in a C0 only event at Gloucester Park. Hall is confident that the 4yo will "just keep winning" giving handicappers no choice but to give the lightly raced NZ import a birth in the prestigious Golden Nugget. We also catch up on the recovery of WA champion pacer Chicago Bull, Snr's NZ Sires Series hopeful Major Trojan AND each of the Hall camp runners on York Cup night at Gloucester Park.   Ken Casellas  

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

Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr is delighted at the progress being made by lightly-raced four-year-old Benhope Rulz and said the gelding was firmly on track for a start in the $200,000 Golden Nugget next month. Hall expects Benhope Rulz, the youngest and least experienced runner in the field, to maintain his splendid form by proving too talented for his rivals in the $20,000 Book Your Xmas Function at the Beau Rivage Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Benhope Rulz won for the fifth time from seven starts in his current preparation when he started from barrier five, dashed to the lead after 300m and sprinted over the final sections in 28.5sec. and 28.1sec. to win from stablemate Luis Alberto at a 1.56.8 rate last Friday night. With Gary Hall Jnr in New Zealand, Stuart McDonald will again be in the sulky behind Benhope Rulz, who is handily drawn at No. 2 on the back line. “He’s a pretty good horse and only bad luck will beat him this week,” said Hall Snr. “Danieljohn looks the one to beat, and Suspicious Life also has claims. Hall produced another Nugget hopeful at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when McDonald drove former Victorian performer Think About Me to victory by a head over Shadow Maker, dashing over the final 400m in 27.8sec. and rating 1.57.4 over 2130m. “At the moment I have Nugget contenders in Benhope Rulz, Speed Man, King of Swing, Think About Me and another one I haven’t produced,” Hall said. Mundijong trainer Kristian Hawkins has three runners up against Benhope Rulz in Friday night’s race over 2130m. He will drive veteran Danieljohn from barrier one, Ryan Warwick will handle Bettor Not Bitter (barrier three) and Corey Peterson will be in the sulky behind Runaway Three at barrier five. “I’ll be desperately disappointed if Danieljohn leads and gets beaten, given the way he is going,” Hawkins said. “He is a much superior horse in front. He is just a freak of a horse who loves being in work. He tries really hard and is always eager to please.” The ten-year-old Danieljohn certainly looks the leader on Friday night and should take catching. He is still racing enthusiastically after 145 race starts for 34 wins and 44 placings for earnings of $312,379. Hawkins also has sound prospects on Friday night with several stable runners, including The Trilogy, Dontstopbelievin, Stroganoff and Starlight Brigade. Dontstopbelievin, a winner at seven of her past ten starts, is poorly drawn at barrier seven in the 2536m Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace. “I know she won well last Friday, but her past two runs haven’t left me as happy as I would have liked,” Hawkins said. “It was just in the manner in which she raced, sort of dour. Now I want to give her one run over 2536m before the classic races come up. After this week’s race she’ll probably have three and a half weeks off until the $125,000Four-Year-Old Classic on December 30. “That will mean she will miss a couple of $50,000 races, but I think that will be better for her. “From barrier six on Friday night I’ll probably driver her with a sit, something I haven’t driven her before, apart from the time I butchered it. I daresay my hand probably will be forced on Friday and it will be more of a learning curve on how she will go, sitting up. I’ll probably have one crack at them, whether we go at the bell or at another stage of the race; it depends on the tempo of the race.” Hawkins said he had good prospects with Stroganoff in race six and Starlight Brigade in the seventh event. Both are favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. “I’ll be doing my best to find the front with Stroganoff,” Hawkins said. “When we get serious out of the gate he’s always had plenty of toe. If he finds the front, he’s a big show. Starlight Brigade should find the front and should go well in his race. At his latest start, at Kellerberrin, he sat in the breeze which is not his go and was just beaten (by a head) by Patrickthepiranha, rating 1.59.3 which was a quicker time than that recorded by The Trilogy in the main race that day.” Ken Casellas

Talented lightly-raced pacer Just Bet On Black is thriving on a new preparation and he will reappear after a 12-month absence when he starts from barrier seven in the www.gloucesterpark.com.au Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Just Bet On Black, whose 32 starts have produced ten wins, six seconds and three thirds, is now prepared at Banjup by Dylan Egerton-Green, who said he was pleased with the New Zealand-bred gelding’s work. “He had a few problems a year ago, so he went out for six months,” Egerton-Green said. “When he came back he still had a few problems, so we’ve tried to bring him back to the races without giving him trials. His heart rates have been good on the work he’s done. I’ve given him a different preparation, a lot of gallop work and have kept him off the track.” Just Bet On Black meets only moderate opposition on Friday night and is capable of a bold showing. His chief rivals loom as the warm favourite Bettor Finish (who has been placed at four of his six starts this season and hasn’t enjoyed much luck) and Kimani, who impressed with a strong first-up second to Chiaroscuro last Friday night. That was six-year-old Kimani’s first placing from eight starts in WA. He was eighth at the bell and charged home with a sparkling late burst to finish just a neck behind the winner, with a final quarter of 28.3sec. Kimani, to be driven by Stuart McDonald for trainer Gary Hall Snr, faces a stern test from out wide at barrier eight, but Hall said the gelding would go close, particularly if the pace of the race was strong. “When Kimani (a winner of eight races in Victoria) arrived, he wasn’t going any good, so I spelled him,” Hall said. “I’ve brought him back and he’s going a lot better.” Kimani is bred to be a good winner, with his dam Lizzie Maguire (by Christian Cullen) amassing $465,579 in stakes from 12 wins and nine placings from just 28 starts. Egerton-Green is looking forward to a busy night on Friday. Apart from Just Bet On Black, he will be driving Ona Happy Note and Im Master Charlie for Pinjarra trainer Michael Brennan, Suspicious Life (whom he trains), Maczaffair for Mike Reed, Better B Chevron for Greg and Skye Bond and Aussie Jet for Hayden Reeves. He said that Suspicious Life, a smart second-up winner over Scotlyn Beach last Friday week, had sound each-way prospects in race four and was looking forward to driving Maczaffair in the James Brennan Memorial and Better B Chevron off the back mark of 20m in a 2503m stand in which stablemate Mitch Maguire will be a warm fancy to notch his 21st victory from only 33 starts. “Maczaffair had no luck when unplaced in the Parliamentarians Cup last week,” he said. “The race didn’t unfold the way we expected. She saw no daylight.” Egerton-Green surprised when he opted to drive nine-year-old Aussie Jet in the final event, the 1730m Better Your Bet With TABtouch Pace, in preference to another nine-year-old Northern Emperor, who impressed last Friday night with his fast-finishing fourth behind Benhope Rulz. Aussie Jet, trained at Coolup by Hayden Reeves, is out of the 2000 WA Oaks winner Pharosan and has a losing sequence of 51, going back to April 24, 2015 when Egerton-Green drove her to victory over Fully Zapped over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Egerton-Green was in the sulky behind Aussie Jet at Kellerberrin last Sunday when the gelding started from the back line, raced wide and then in the breeze before wilting to eighth behind Mighty Conqueror. “It’s the barrier draw that made up my mind,” said Egerton-Green. “Aussie Jet will start from barrier one and Northern Emperor out at No. 7. I expect Aussie Jet to run an all-right race. I’ll run the gate and see what happens.” Egerton-Green, who has driven 20 winners in the first two months of the 2018-19 season, also faces a very busy night at Northam’s Burwood Park on Friday night when he has a drive in each of the eight events. He will start the program by driving the Reeves-trained Camilla, who looks a strong chance from the No. 2 barrier, particularly after her encouraging half-length second to Perlee Gates at Narrogin last Saturday night. Egerton-Green said that he considered Tyler Brett, a four-year-old he trains, was his best winning prospect. Tyler Brett made an excellent return to racing after a spell when he won at Pinjarra last Monday week, beating Kerrin Joseph, Thereugo and Danieljohn. “It won’t be easy from the outside of the front line, but he should figure in the finish,” said Egerton-Green. “Saying Grace and Millview Sienna look to be the toughest to beat.”   Ken Casellas

Mundijong trainer-reinsman Kristian Hawkins has six-year-old The Trilogy at his peak and is confident the New Zealand-bred gelding will give him a flying start on an extremely busy night at Gloucester Park on Friday evening. Hawkins has a record number of starters (nine) from his stable and is looking forward to The Trilogy getting the ball rolling by winning the opening event, the $22,000 $7 Pints at JP’s Sportsbar Pace over 2130m. The Trilogy is awkwardly drawn at barrier five on the front line, but he is sure to appreciate a drop in class after his splendid effort in finishing third behind Tommy Be Good and Danieljohn in the Group 3 Parliamentarians Cup last Friday night. Hawkins blames himself for The Trilogy’s defeat last week, saying: “It was a good run, but I probably didn’t need to let him go down the back; on reflection it was a blue. If I’d held him up for another quarter he probably would’ve won. “I’m looking forward to better races for him and he’s probably earned a bit of respect, running a 35.3sec. lead time, holding up and copping a bit of pressure (from Sokys Big Bullet and Argyle Red) and then going when he did (in the back straight the final time). It took two handy horses to get over him. “That was his first serious run this preparation. Barrier five on Friday night is a tricky draw and with Tanaka Eagle drawn inside of The Trilogy, I daresay we’ll not be able to get to the front. So, he won’t be revved up at the start. I’ll let the race unfold and then have one crack at them.” Tanaka Eagle is a very fast beginner, but he is not certain to burst to an early lead. Im Soxy, trained in Bunbury by Brian Clemens and to be driven by Ryan Warwick, has good gate speed and is a smart frontrunner, well suited from the No. 1 barrier. Punters will certainly be aware that the horses drawn at No.1 horse in race one at Gloucester Park have a fine record. In the first eight Friday meetings this season horse No. 1 has been successful four times - Arthur Lowe ($2.60), Rock Me Over ($1.50), Hastalavista ($2.80) and C C Chevron ($9.10). The No. 1 horse has finished second three times - Ideal Flipflop ($32.90), Mister Rollins ($10.60) and Bhagwan ($2.10), with the only No. 1 to finish out of the top two being $115.10 outsider Mr Nickel finishing eighth. The Kyle Harper-trained and driven Thereugo will start from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. He is one of the fastest beginners in the State and there is the strong possibility that Harper may elect to use the six-year-old’s sparkling early speed. Ken Casellas

Western Australia’s superstar pacer Chicago Bull will break fresh ground when he makes his first appearance in a standing-start event, in a $17,000 stand over 2200m at Auckland’s Alexandra Park on Friday night. The champion six-year-old, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, looks vastly superior to his six rivals and should notch his 40th victory at his 61st start in a race. Chicago Bull will start from the maximum back mark of 20m, with his chief rivals Lets Elope and Jacks Legend the two off the 10m line. Chicago Bull is a well-behaved and laid-back character who has begun smoothly in his only two appearances in standing-start trials and Hall is confident the brilliant gelding will be on his best behaviour behind the barrier strands. This will be a valuable lead-up for Chicago Bull before he contests the $800,000 New Zealand Cup, a stand over 3200m at Addington in Christchurch on Tuesday November 13. Lets Elope and Jacks Legend are also nominated for the big race. One of Chicago Bull’s toughest opponents in the New Zealand Cup will be Tiger Tara, who led all the way and beat Chicago Bull into second place in the 2200m Victoria Cup at Melton two Saturdays ago. Lets Elope is a ten-year-old in the twilight of his career of 158 starts for 25 wins and 45 placings for earnings of $559,129, while five-year-old Jacks Legend has raced 28 times for six wins and 12 placings for stakes of $329,131. Lets Elope and Jacks Legend clashed in a 2700m stand at Alexandra Park on October 12 when Lets Elope, a 16/1 chance off 10m, raced in third place on the pegs for the first lap before dashing to the front and going on to win at a 2.1.6 rate from the fast-finishing Jacks Legend. The final 800m was covered in 55.4sec. and the last 400m in 27.5sec. This ended a losing sequence of 33 fort Lets Elope, whose previous victory was in a $20,000 Free-For-All over 2190m at Mildura on April 8, 2017. Jacks Legend has a losing sequence of ten, with his most recent victory being in a 2700m stand at Alexandra Park in October last year. Two starts before that, Jacks Legend won the Group 1 Emerald for three-year-old colts and geldings, starting at 45/1 and beating hot favourite Ultimate Machete.   Ken Casellas

Veteran mare Sea Me Smile has turned the corner and excellent efforts at her past two outings suggest that she has sound prospects of ending an eight-month drought and breaking a losing sequence of 31 when she contests the $20,000 Life Is On With Clipsal Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.     The versatile seven-year-old who will be having her 135th start in a race, will begin from barrier four on the front line in the 2130m event for mares. Sea Me Smile, trained at Hopeland by Debra Lewis, will be handled by her husband, champion reinsman Chris Lewis. Sea Me Smile has impressed at her past two starts, earlier this month. She began speedily from the No. 7 barrier and burst to the front after 25m before surrendering the lead to Kingsman 200m later at Gloucester Park on October 2. She was hampered for room until the final 100m when she fought on to finish second to Kingsman. Three nights later Sea Me Smile started out wide from barrier nine and was restrained before settling down in seventh position, four back on the pegs. She was seventh on the home turn and finished strongly to be a 10m second to Bettorgrinanbarit. One of her chief rivals on Friday night is likely to be the Kevin Keys-trained Tajies Girl, who has a losing sequence of 15. The nine-year-old Tajies Girl, a veteran of 147 starts, will be driven by Michael Grantham. She possesses good gate speed and is likely to go forward from the No. 5 barrier. Tajies Girl has finished second at each of her past two starts. She fought on from fourth at the bell to finish second to Liam Neil in the 2185m Alcoa Cup at Pinjarra two starts ago and then was restrained at the start from barrier four and raced in last place in the field of six before charging home, out wide, to finish a close second to the pacemaker Shes Turbo Charged. She was at a disadvantage, with her deafeners failing to release. Shes Turbo Charged will start from the outside (barrier nine) on Friday night and there is a strong possibility that Shannon Suvaljko will take advantage of her sparkling gate speed in a bid to charge to the front soon after the start. The likely favourite is the consistent Ross Olivieri-trained Soho Changeling, who will be driven by Chris Voak from the No. 1 barrier. The Aiden Warwick-trained Millwood Brandy is also sure to be strongly fancied from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Millwood Brandy has drawn out wide at her past five starts since she set the pace from barrier one and won from Alfa Queen over 2130m on August 21.   Ken Casellas

Byford schoolgirl Emily Suvaljko celebrated her 18th birthday in style on Tuesday afternoon by giving a perfect exhibition in the sulky to land Bettor Bling a stylish winner over the odds-on favourite and pacemaker Life To The Max in C1-class mobile event. Suvaljko was driving Bettor Bling for the first time and the six-year-old mare’s win ended a losing sequence of 17. Bettor Bling, trained at Waroona by Adam Mellsop, enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, and she finished with a determined burst to get up in the final couple of strides and win by a neck. This gave Suvaljko her fourth win in the first six weeks of the 2018-19 season. Suvaljko gave a similar copybook exhibition last Friday night when she gave $77.50 outsider Kasey John every possible chance by positioning the five-year-old in the one-out, one-back position before urging him forward in the closing stages to finish second, just a half-length from the $2.70 fancy Rocknroll Lincoln. Trainer Michael Brennan has engaged Suvaljko to drive Kasey John in the Direct Trades Supply Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the gelding (who will start from barrier two on the back line) should again figure in the finish in a 2130m event in which the Greg and Skye Bond-trained mare Better B Chevron will be at odds-on and should make the most of her favourable draw at No. 2 on the front line. Better B Chevron had no luck when fifth behind Rocknroll Lincoln last week when she raced three back on the pegs and was badly hampered for room in the final stages. Better B Chevron should give the Bond stable and reinsman Ryan Warwick the first leg of a double, with Mitch Maguire looking a certainty off the 20m mark in the Yes Loans Handicap over 2503m. Mitch Maguire maintained his remarkably consistent form when he finished second to the speedy pacemaker Eden Franco in a fast-run 2130m mobile event last Friday night. The five-year-old raced in fifth place, one-out and one-back, before running home determinedly. He was at a disadvantage, with the nearside hopple shortening cord snapping and the pin remaining in place. Mitch Maguire has a winning record of 63 per cent, with his 30 starts producing 19 wins, four seconds and one third. Suvaljko, who was successful at her second drive in a race when Undercover Art won at Northam in February this year has three drives on Friday night: Kasey John, Quincey Brogden in race two and The Redeemer in the final event. Ken Casellas

Star trainer-reinsman Colin Brown was mystified and at his wit’s end earlier this year when speedy pacer Maxentius faded and finished last in consecutive runs at Northam and Bunbury. “X-ray examinations then revealed that the horse had a five-millimetre chip in a fetlock which required surgery to remove it.” Brown said. Maxentius was out of action for six months and Brown produced the gelding in superb condition for his first-up appearance when he started from the outside of the back line in 2130m event last Friday week. Driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, Maxentius, an 8/1 chance, settled at the rear before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst to hit the front 300m from home on the way to a three-length victory over the pacemaker Mister Rollins. The final quarters were run in 27.8sec. and 28.8sec. Maxentius will start from the outside of the front line, with Brown in the sulky, in the opening event, the 2130m Worldwide Printing Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night and looms as a serious rival to outstanding four-year-old Bechers Brook. A Maxentius victory would cap a wonderful 60th birthday week for Brown. Bechers Brook, trained by Mike Reed and driven by Mark Reed, notched his ninth win from, 16 starts when he scored a decisive first-up victory at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon, rating 1.57.1 over 2185m, with final sections of 27.4sec. and 28.9sec. He raced in fifth position, one-out and one-back, before starting a three-wide move 700m from home. He got to the front 50m from the post and won easily from Ideal One and the pacemaker Rocknroll Whitby. “He’s still big in condition but has come back really well and is definitely a lot stronger than he was as a two-year-old,” Mark Reed said. “He will be hard to beat again on Friday night.” Bechers Brook, who finished a fast-finishing head second to King of Swing in the WA Derby last April, is a leading contender for the $200,000 Golden Nugget championship on December 14. So, too, is his talented stablemate Golden State, who resumed after a spell with an impressive win at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Golden State began from the outside of the front line and he finished powerfully from last (eighth) at the bell to win from the pacemaker Innocent Affair.   Ken Casellas

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