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Members of the WA Trotting Media Guild have been impressed by former Kiwi Mathew James, with many making the Justin Prentice trained, Gary Hall Jnr driven three-year-old their star bet at Saturday’s twilight meeting. Ernie Manning, Hayden King, Tim Walker and Ryan Havercroft all made Mathew James their standout for the night. Havercroft, perhaps best, summed up the thoughts of his colleagues. “Mathew James brought up a hat-trick of wins when successful here two weeks ago over The Kraken,” he said. “On that occasion he was way too classy for his rivals and went to the line with something in reserve. He looks to have a bright future and is yet to miss the placings after six starts.” Stuart Lowe and Pat Harding can see King Of Swing saluting again. “My best bet is former star juvenile King Of Swing, who  impressed with an all-the-way win here last start,” Lowe said. “He rises in class here but likely to find the front again and be very hard to beat.” Harding agrees. “My best bet comes up in race eight with the Hall-trained King Of Swing,” he said. “He had a good win last week and coming out of barrier four he should have no trouble accounting for this field.” Matt Young is keen on Caviar Star. “Caviar Star had a lot go wrong last week and still ran a good second,” he said. “Looks to be closing back to his best and the one to beat.” Wayne Currall fancies Mister Spot to land an all-the-way victory in the seventh race. “Master reinsman Christopher Allen Lewis jumps back in the bike from the pole ... need I say more,” he said. “This John Graham-trained four-year-old is racing with admirable zest and whatever beats him will win.” VALUE BETS ERNIE: Soho Leviathan has not won in five starts since a spell, but appears primed to show form which has enabled him to score three Gloucester Park victories. The gelding impressed when a close second to highly-rated Bechers Brook at Pinjarra on Monday. HAYDEN: Captured Delight has been racing in career-best form recently and strikes a chance to really announce herself as a top-line mare. TIM: Highroller Joe is starting to settle into this class of racing. A couple of horses on the front line don’t have consistent winning form here, so hopefully with a bit of pace in the race he can be storming over the top late. RYAN: Vincenzo Perrugia rises in class but that just means you’ll get a better price about a horse in outstanding form. STUART: The value bet is Mister Spot, who followed a strong win here with a close second to Ruling Gold. Drawn well and has each-way claims. PAT: It’s time for Madame Meilland to show us she is capable of a win. This field does not have a lot of form and I think Chris Lewis can guide her to victory from gate five. MATT: Soho Leviathan is a very good frontrunner and has explosive gate speed. Solid field should suggest he’s a good each-way price. WAYNE: Black Jack Zac is racing in career-best form and gets another opportunity to earn money for his connections in the first sprint of the night. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting at this rare metropolitan Saturday meeting.   Ken Casellas

Talented gelding Gee Jay Kay has a history of breaking in running and racing roughly, but his trainer Vicki Lea is delighted that he has overcome those bad habits and is ready to perform strongly in the $50,000 Pearl Classic for three-year-olds at Gloucester Park on Saturday night. “He’s a different horse now and is more relaxed,” she said. “Before, he was quite angry and uptight and did things wrong in his races. When he was hopping and skipping, he was an angry horse. “He’s come a long way; he’s had some feet issues and we’ve worked through them and now we are just waiting for everything to fall into place. His whole attitude has changed and he’s now a happy horse. “It’s been a matter of what works for him. He’s a horse who is always busy; he’s always thinking and looking, and he doesn’t miss a trick. It’s been a matter of trying to find that niche for him which we think we’ve found. “We are happy with the way he’s coming along. He is starting to mature and has discovered what he’s meant to be doing. Barrier seven on Saturday night is not ideal, but we’re not the only ones who have drawn a difficult barrier. I think he should be thereabouts.” Gee Jay Kay, to be driven by master reinsman Chris Lewis, looks one of the main chances, along with Aldo Cortopassi’s Theo Aviator, the Colin Brown-trained pair of Its Rock And Roll and Patrickthepiranha and Justin Prentice’s Back In Twenty. Gee Jay Kay warmed up for the classic in good style with an effortless victory in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he started from barrier four and raced without cover before taking a narrow lead 450m from home and cruising to the line to win, untouched by Lewis, from Jiving Jolt and the pacemaker Jilliby Jake. He could have gone considerably faster, but Lewis was quite content to give him an easy run in the breeze, with a very slow lead time of 39sec. and meandering opening quarters of 31.4sec. and 30.7sec. before he dashed over the final 400m sections in 28.8sec. and 27.9sec. The win improved Gee Jay Kay’s record to 15 starts for five wins and seven placings for earnings of $37,374 and he looks set for a bright future, with his chief mission as a four-year-old the prestigious Golden Nugget championship. The Pearl Classic was robbed of considerable interest with the absence of brilliant New Zealand-bred colt Franco Edward, who notched his 11th win from 18 starts when he set the pace and scored an easy victory at a 1.56.1 rate over 2130m in a qualifying heat of the classic on Tuesday of last week. Trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper said that the colt had been sent for a spell, explaining: “He’s been up for a while and has had a few little niggles. I wasn’t quite happy with him. He has been impressive in recent starts and racing in good form, but I think that was just because he is a high-calibre horse. “He wasn’t quite right and has gone to the paddock to make sure he gets the best opportunity to come back as a very good four-year-old. I wasn’t quite happy with the way he pulled up after his latest win, so I sent him to the paddock for a well-earned spell. The main concern is the horse and his well-being and to make sure he has a bright and long future. “It’s disappointing because I’m sure he would have been very competitive and hard to beat in the Pearl. There are still some classy horses in the race and some of the higher-assessed horses are drawn awkwardly. I think the one to follow could be Back In Twenty; he’s the one I like.” Back In Twenty, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, will start from the outside barrier (No. 2) on the back line and is capable of unwinding a strong finishing burst. He has led and won at two of his past three starts. Brown is hoping for a change of luck with Its Rock And Roll, who will start out wide at barrier eight on the front line. The gelding is a stout-hearted performer who has raced seven times this season for five placings after winning four times as a two-year-old. Patrickthepiranha, to be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, is sure to be tested from the outside barrier (No. 9) but has the class to overcome this disadvantage. He won at his first seven appearances as a three-year-old before unplaced runs at his past three outings. His was last in a field of 12 in the middle stages before finishing solidly to finish seventh behind Franco Edward in the heart of the Pearl. “That was the best he’s hit the line at his past three starts,” said Egerton-Green. “He was racing a little bit flat going into the Derby two starts ago (when sixth behind Major Trojan) and then had a bit of a let-up and he’s come back a lot sharper.” Cortopassi said he was pleased with Theo Aviator’s last-start fourth behind Franco Edward when the gelding had a tough run, racing three wide early and then in the breeze. Theo Aviator, a winner at ten of his 26 starts, will begin from barrier four in the front line and Cortopassi aims to use the gelding’s gate speed in a bid for the early lead.   Ken Casellas

Outstanding young reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green is poised to achieve a wonderful and well-deserved milestone this week by landing his 100th winner for the season. He chalked up his 99th success at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when he drove 5/1 chance Mandy Joan to a stylish victory over the pacemaker My Prayer in a 2130m event for three-year-old fillies. Mandy Joan was restrained from barrier seven and settled at the rear before Egerton-Green brought her home with a storming three-wide burst. The victory gave Byford trainer David Thompson a welcome present for his 56th birthday which he will celebrate on Friday. The 26-year-old Egerton-Green is rapidly becoming one of the State’s finest drivers and he has already surpassed his previous most successful season when he won 69 races last season. “It’s always been an ambition to drive a hundred winners in a season,” he said. “Originally, I thought I’d have my best season when I had a claim. I lost my claim about three years ago and I’ve just been chipping away.” His victory with Mandy Joan was tinged with considerable sadness. Earlier in the day, Egerton-Green had attended the funeral of 20-year-old Lockie Hernaman, a close friend and teammate at the Harvey Bulls football club. Egerton-Green should bring up his century of winners this week either at the meeting at Narrogin on Friday night or at Gloucester Park the following evening. He has six drives at Narrogin and his better chances appear to lie with last-start winner She Said Diamonds in race one and the consistent Ultimate Offer, who is favourably drawn at barrier two in the fifth event. Egerton-Green is also looking forward to a busy night at Gloucester Park on Saturday where he has a drive in eight of the ten events. He is enthusiastic about the prospects of the Dennis Roche-trained Jaxon Jones in the opening event, the Christmas In July at the Beau Rivage Pace for two-year-olds. He has driven the gelding to impressive all-the-way victories at Bunbury at his past two starts. At his latest outing Jaxon Jones sprinted home over the final quarter in 27.5sec. and defeated Jaspervellabeach (unbeaten at his three previous starts) and Major Martini (who had won at each of his two starts). “You must respect Jaxon Jones, who beat a horse who had won at his only three starts,” Egerton-Green said. “Every time he has gone around Jaxon Jones has got better and better and I can’t see why he can’t go better this week. The draw (No. 3) makes it a bit harder because he can’t lead this week. But I really like the horse.” Egerton-Green also will drive six pacers from the stables of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond with his best prospect among them expected to be Mighty Santana in race seven. He was impressed when he drove Mighty Santana for the only time in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra three starts ago when the five-year-old raced in the breeze for much of the way and won easily by two lengths from Captured Delight.   Ken Casellas

Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis is enjoying a golden run of successes which should continue when speedy four-year-old The War Nurse contests the www.gloucesterpark.com.au over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Saturday night. In the past 12 weeks Lewis has prepared 24 winners with The War Nurse winning at four of her six starts, and Luis Alberto (six wins), The Watch Maker (four), Carte Blanche (four), Vrai Amour (two), Lot Twenty One (two) and Pierre Whitby (two) all racing in with great enthusiasm. The War Nurse, to be handled by the trainer’s husband Chris, will start from the No. 5 barrier on Saturday night and the mare possesses such sparkling gate speed that she should be able to cross to the front and then dictate the terms of the 2130m event. Last Friday night, The War Nurse began very fast from barrier three and set the pace in the $50,000 WASBA Breeders Pace in which she fought on grandly to finish third behind Our Alfie Romeo and Rosies Ideal. She led from barrier five and won at a 1.55.8 rate from Ona Happy Note and The Trilogy a week earlier and scoring effortless victories at Pinjarra at her three previous outings. The War Nurse, who managed five thirds from 15 starts as a three-year-old, has really blossomed this season, with six wins, four thirds and three fourths from 13 starts. She is likely to be tested by smart mares in Beaudiene Beach Babe, Kitura and Purest Silk, but should emerge triumphant. Beaudiene Beach Babe, to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr for trainer Justin Prentice, is favourably drawn at barrier three and should fight out the finish. She dashed to the lead after 400m in the standing-start Race For Roses last Friday week before relinquishing the front and being shuffled back to fifth, three back on the pegs, and then running home with great determination to finish a head second to Miss Sangrial. Kitura, trained and driven by Nathan Turvey, was unlucky at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when she trailed the pacemaker Breach The Beach and was badly blocked for a clear run in the closing stages when third to that pacer over 1730m. She will have many admirers this week from the prized No. 1 barrier. Purest Silk, trained by Barry Howlett, will start from the inside of the back line and should be prominent. She notched her eighth win from 25 starts when she finished powerfully to win from Crystal Sparkles and the pacemaker Cut Above at a 1.57./6 rate on Tuesday night. The Lewis stable will also have a strong following in other events on Saturday night, with Pierre Whitby (race two), Lot Twenty One (race six), Soho Leviathan (race seven) and Luis Alberto (race ten). Luis Alberto, a New Zealand-bred gelding, has been a revelation in the past few months, with his 13 starts for Lewis producing six wins and three placings. He is handily drawn at barrier three in the final event on Saturday night, the 1730m The Bridge Bar Pace, and should fight out the finish for Jocelyn Young, who has formed a strong association with the five-year-old. Considerable interest in this event surrounds the first appearance in Western Australia of Victorian performer Mad Robber, an eight-year-old stallion who has hade 43 starts for 11 wins, ten seconds and four thirds. Mad Robber, prepared by Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr, will start from the coveted No. 1 barrier and reinsman Gary Hall jnr is sure to make full use of the horse’s good gate speed over the sprint trip. Mad Robber, driven by Maddison Brown, impressed in winning a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when the horse began fast from barrier one, set the pace and sprinted the final 400m in 27.5sec. in beating Galante by one and a half lengths at a 1.57.3 rate. He will be having his first start on Saturday night since he raced in the breeze and wilted to fifth behind Rackemup Tigerpie over 1710m at Ballarat on December 26 last year.   Ken Casellas

Tony Svilicich gained considerable notoriety with his unconventional training methods with former star pacer Has The Answers, whose preparation consisted of being chased around a paddock in an old vehicle driven by the veteran horseman. Few could argue against the Svilicich regime: Has The Answers amassed $1,326,582 in prizemoney from 76 wins and 65 placings from 240 starts.    Svilicich is now a robust 72-year-old who is enjoying great success with five-year-old Vincenzo Peruggia. He has abandoned his former s unorthodox training methods and says he doesn’t really train the gelding. “I have been giving him a couple of starts every week  and that keeps him fit,” he says. “This saves me from giving the horse hoppled work. I like my sleep and sleeping in, instead of having to get out of bed early to work the horse.” Svilicich took over the preparation of Vincenzo Peruggia late last year and has given him 27 starts in the space of 103 days this year, and that’s an average of one run every 3.8 days (or about twice a week). Those 27 starts have produced nine wins (five at Pinjarra and four at Gloucester Park), seven seconds and two thirds. Cory Peterson has driven Vincenzo Peruggia twice for smart wins at his past two starts and he will be in the sulky again when the gelding starts from the No. 2 barrier in the opening event, the Budget Stockfeeds Pace, over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Svilicich said he was confident that Vincenzo Peruggia would prove hard to beat, but said he had plenty of respect for talented four-year-old King of Swing, whose 15 wins from 28 starts include a victory in the group 1 WA Derby last year. He added that Vincenzo Peruggia’s prospects would be greatly enhanced if he was able to cross Jing of Swing and dictate terms in front.  “Vincenzo Peruggia is not super quick over the first 30m, but he can then muster plenty of pace,” he said. Svilicich races Vincenzo Peruggia on lease from Chris Edwards, a prominent poker player. The gelding won on debut at Narrogin as a two-year-old when he was trained by Courtney Burch and was driven by Morgan Woodley. He then had a losing sequence of ten before winning three races in Kalgoorlie in 2016. He has really blossomed with age and under the care of Svilicich. There is no certainty that either King of Swing or Vincenzo Peruggia will set the pace on Friday night. Thereugo possesses dazzling gate speed and Donald Harper is likely to use this from barrier six in a bid for early ascendancy.    Ken Casellas

Ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown has high hopes of going one better with speedy mare Eden Franco when she contests the $50,000 WASBA Breeders Stakes over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Eden Franco went within a whisker of winning the group 2 feature event for mares 12 months ago when she finished second, a half-head behind the pacemaker Maczaffair. A 4/1 chance, she started from the No. 11 barrier (No. 2 on the back line) and surged forward, three wide in the early stages, before racing in the breeze and finishing with great determination. Now a six-year-old and the oldest runner in this year’s race, Eden Franco again will start from the No. 11 barrier and she looms large as a major player. Eden Franco warmed up for this week’s assignment with a good sixth behind Miss Sangrial in the group 3 Race For Roses last Friday night when she was the backmarker off 50m. She was last in the field of 12 at the bell and was blocked for clear running in the final circuit. Brown has a splendid record in the Breeders Stakes, having won the event three times --- as the trainer-driver of Sand Pebbles in 2004 and Montel in 2008 and as the driver of the Greg Bond-trained Little Big Sister in 2010. Sand Pebbles also finished second in the Breeders Stakes in 2002 and third in 2003 and in recent years he has finished second behind Kamwood Laughter in 2012 and Alkira Jetstar in 2013. The Breeders Stakes was first run in 1979 and the only driver with a superior record to Brown is Chris Lewis, who has been successful with Tareena Bright (1985), Armbro Lucy (1993), Twinkle Paige (1997), Meggie Dear (2001) and Sheer Rocknroll (2017). This year Lewis will handle the up-and-coming four-year-old The War Nurse, who is trained by his wife Debra and is aiming to extend her winning sequence to five. The War Nurse revealed sparkling early speed from barrier five to burst straight to the front in a 2130m event last Friday night. She relished the frontrunning role and sped over the final 800m in 57sec. to win by more than a length from Ona Happy Note. The War Nurse meets far stronger opposition this week, but cannot be underestimated. Whether The War Nurse can prove the master of polemarker Miss Sangrial in the battle for the early lead is problematic. Miss Sangrial possesses excellent gate speed and Michael Grantham will be most anxious to win the race for the early lead. Miss Sangrial, trained by Michael Brennan, is in tremendous form, with a fast-finishing win in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra and a stylish victory in the 2503m Race For Roses last Friday night when she began speedily from the 20m mark, took the lead after 600m and then took the trail behind Our Angel of Harlem with two laps to travel. When Our Angel of Harlem broke 600m from home, Grantham sent Miss Sangrial through on the inside to take up the running. Miss Sangrial fought on with grim determination to hold out the fast-finishing pair of Beaudiene Beach Babe. Grantham has a wonderful association with the New South Wales-bred Miss Sangrial, having driven her at 30 of her 45 starts for 15 wins, five seconds, two thirds, four fourths, two fifths, one eighth and one ninth. Rosies Ideal, trained and driven by Shane Young, ran an excellent trial for this week’s event when she galloped at the standing start and was tenth at the bell before flying home, four wide, to finish third to Miss Sangrial last week. Rosies Ideal, a winner at ten of her 26 starts, is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line and will have many admirers. Another four-year-old in the Annie Belton-trained Lady De La Renta is capable of a bold showing, even though she is not particularly well drawn on the outside of the back line. She is racing with admirable enthusiasm and is capable of unwinding a powerful finishing burst. Other four-year-olds - Captured Delight, Cott Beach, Our Alfie Romeo, Come Dance With Me and Veiled Secret have strong credentials in what should prove to be a keen betting race.   Ken Casellas

Six-year-old Im Soxy, a $9000 yearling, continues to blossom and the State’s leading reinsman Ryan Warwick confidently predicts the gelding will graduate to open-class company and prove his worth in Free-For-Alls. There is little doubt that Im Soxy, a big bay with a distinctive white blaze, is one of the State’s most improved pacers under the care of 70-year-old Bunbury horseman Brian Clemens, who took over as trainer in February 2018 and has given the pacer 43 starts for nine wins and 19 placings. Warwick, who has driven 134 winners this season, is confident that Im Soxy will prove hard to beat in the Pacing WA and Girl Power In Pacing Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Im Soxy will start from barrier five and will clash with several smart performers, including Caviar Star, Campora and Tact Major (prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall Snr), as well as Back To The Beach and Chiaroscuro. Im Soxy maintained his excellent form when he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to win from the pacemaker Bettor Be Lively at a 1.55.5 rate over 2130m last Friday week. Warwick was full of praise of the gelding, saying: “He can go to the next level. He’s getting better and better and is not finished with yet. He’s calmed down a lot pre-race and the way he does his preliminary is really good now. He can come off the arm or go back; he can do whatever you want him to do.” Warwick has established a strong affinity with Im Soxy, having driven him 20 times for six wins, five seconds and five thirds. The gelding, purchased for $9000 by Cono Condipodero at the 2014 Gloucester Standardbred yearling sale, is raced on lease by Lynette Clemens, wife of the trainer. Unplaced at his first eight starts (on country tracks in 2016), he now has raced 65 times for 11 wins and 20 placings for earnings of $134,487. By Rich And Spoilt, Im Soxy is out of the Mach Three mare Forza Di Volonta, who raced eight times as a two and three-year-old in 2010 for four wins. Im Soxy certainly inherited much of his ability from his great granddam Mitemptation, a brilliant juvenile who raced just 18 times as a two and three-year-old for 11 wins, five placings and $123,390. She won at each of her first nine starts, including a notable victory in the Group 1 Pearl Classic in January 1995. Hall has a healthy respect of Im Soxy and said that he considered polemarker Campora (to be driven by Lauren Jones) had the brightest prospects of his trio.” Campora is an excellent frontrunner and will be hard to beat,” he said. Four-year-old Caviar Star is racing keenly and, with Gary Hall Jnr in the sulky, should fight out the finish, while the lightly-raced seven-year-old Tact Major (Stuart McDonald) excelled last Friday night when he trailed the pacemaker Chicago Bull and ran home determinedly to finish second to the champion. Of the others, the Murray Lindau-trained Chiaroscuro is favourably drawn at barrier three and Dylan Egerton-Green could well take advantage of the five-year-old’s sparkling gate speed in a bid to cross Campora. Back To The Beach, to be driven by Chris Voak for trainer Ross Olivieri, has win at two of his past three starts and is worthy of consideration from the No. 2 barrier.   Ken Casellas

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr admits that he is nervous as he prepares to watch his superstar pacer Chicago Bull make his much-anticipated comeback in the $25,000 Gannon’s Harness Racing Colours Free-For-All over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “Yeah, I’m apprehensive,” Hall said. “But only because I want him to do well.” Six-year-old Chicago Bull has made a full recovery from a freak stable accident in New Zealand last October when he flipped over backwards and fractured eight bones in his wither region. “There’s no problems with the injuries and he is not worried about them,” Hall said. “Recent cross-firing problems have been cured. We have trimmed his feet a bit. He had a size five shoe and we’ve now dropped down to a size four. “He’s underdone, but I’m really happy with him. He worked well this morning (Wednesday) when he and Ideal Liner finished together. We didn’t put him to the sword. He’s drawn two on Friday night and we don’t want to burn him out in a bid for the early lead. “He will have a few starts during the winter before getting ready to contest the Interdominion championship series in Auckland in November. And, all going well, he will return to Perth for the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup.” Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr will handle Chicago Bull on Friday night and he is expected to get the little gelding away smartly from the No. 2 barrier before making a bid for the lead. Polemarker Tact Major, a stablemate of Chicago Bull, is a speedy beginner. But Lauren Jones appears certain to take a sit when challenged by Chicago Bull. That would be in Tact Major’s best interests. Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed’s comeback pacer Kiwi Legend possesses sparkling early speed and much interest surrounds the tactics employed by reinsman Mark Reed. The Hall stable dominates the event, with five of the ten runners Chicago Bull, Tact Major, Whozideawasthis, Herrick Roosevelt and Campora. Herrick Roosevelt (Stuart McDonald) is in tremendous form and Whozideawasthis (Micheal Ferguson) is also racing with great spirit. But neither has the class to seriously challenge Chicago Bull, who has earned $1,693,747 from 40 wins and 16 placings from 61 starts. Chicago Bull boasts an amazing record at Gloucester Park where he has been unbeaten at his past 12 starts on the track where he has raced 46 times for 35 wins, four seconds, six thirds and one fourth placing.   Ken Casellas

Brilliant filly Typhoon Tiff has not raced for seven weeks, but ace trainer-reinsman Colin Brown is quick to warn punters not to disregard her as a major chance in the $150,000 Gannon’s WA Oaks at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Brown has revealed that her absence was caused by an illness, which she has now overcome. “She’s ready for a strong performance and you can’t overlook her prospects,” he said. “Just have a look at her record.” Typhoon Tiff, who boasts an impressive record of six wins and two placings from nine starts, is awkwardly drawn at barrier eight. “Unfortunately, the draw is no help and I’m not making any plans,” Brown said. “But the 2536m journey and the draws of other fancied runners makes the Oaks anybody’s race.” Typhoon Tiff last appeared when she finished fifth behind Eloquent Mach and Major Trojan in a WA Derby prelude on March 15 when, from the No. 7 barrier, she raced three wide early and then in the breeze before she raced roughly in the final circuit, but still finished fifth in a field of 12. At her previous start, three weeks earlier, she raced wide early and then in the breeze and won by a head from Dracarys, who finished strongly from sixth at the bell. Two weeks before that, Typhoon Tiff started from barrier five, took the lead after 270m and won the Dainty’s Daughter Classic by more than two lengths from Arma Indie, and at her previous outing she led and won by 7.9m from Dracarys over 1684m at Pinjarra. It is, indeed, interesting to note that the only defeats suffered by Dracarys at her past seven starts has been at the hands of Typhoon Tiff.       “In the Derby prelude, in which the winner rated 1.55.5, Typhoon Tiff paced roughly down the back when I pulled the earplugs out,” Brown said. Soon after that, Typhoon Tiff was badly affected by a cold and Brown decided to treat the ailment and not to race the filly in preparation for the Oaks. “While I was treating her, I kept the workload up,” Brown said. “If I had raced her, it would have meant that, with the clearance times (for treatment) I would have had to give her X number of days off treatment before starting the treatment all over again. “Last Saturday we scoped her and she came up crystal clear. So, she’s ready to rock’nroll. She’s done plenty of work and has been working against Eden Franco, and at her latest workout --- two one-mile heats --- she ran home in 27.6sec., swinging, and Franco Eden couldn’t get past her.             “We’re looking forward to the Oaks, and after that there’s a $50,000 race and the $100,000 Westbred Classic. We’ve made a couple of slight gear changes for this week, without going to extremes. The changes include racing her without the ear plugs.” Dracarys is sure to start a warm favourite on Friday night, despite drawing the inside of the back line. She is in dazzling form and is aiming to stretch her winning sequence to five and her career record to 12 wins from 17 starts. Hall of Fame reinsman Gary Hall Jnr will handle the New Zealand-bred Dracarys for Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice, who caused a major upset in the Oaks 12 months ago when he prepared and drove Our Major Mama to victory over Detroit Lily and Cott Beach. Our Major Mama, a rank outsider at $139.80, began out wide at barrier eight and stormed home from tenth at the bell. Hall has driven the winner of the Oaks twice. He was successful behind Miss Holmes (trained by his father Gary Hall Snr) in 2004 and won in 2015 with the Prentice-trained 9/1 chance Major Reality, who beat her stablemate Quite A Delight (driven by Prentice) by a half-head. Prentice also trained and drove The Parade when she finished second to Libertybelle Midfrew in 2014. In the 2013 Oaks Prentice drove 33/1 chance Bettor Dreams into second place behind Frith; he trained Southern Legacy when she finished second to Sensational Gabby in 2012 and in 2017 he trained Im Stylish, who was driven by Tom Buchanan into third place behind Maczaffair and Sarah Goody. Dracarys completed her Oaks preparation in superb fashion when she outclassed the opposition in a prelude on Easter Thursday. She started from the outside of the back line and settled in sixth position before Hall sent her forward, three wide, after 600m to surge to the front 150m later. She was not extended in speeding over the final 400m sections in 28.1sec. and 28.5sec. and beat Soho Interceptor by two lengths, with a neck to the early leader Fake News. Fake News, trained by Hall snr, goes into this week’s classic with sound credentials, seven wins and four placings from 18 starts. She will be driven by Micheal Ferguson from the outside of the back line. She finished strongly, three wide, from last at the bell to finish an excellent second to stablemate Balcatherine in a prelude last week. Balcatherine (Stuart McDonald) will start from barrier six on Friday night and is capable of a bold showing. Apart from Dracarys, Prentice will be represented in the classic by Has No Fear, a winner of six races who will be handled by Jocelyn Young from the outside barrier on the front line (No. 9), and Majorpride, a winner at three of her 17 starts. She will be driven by Michael Grantham from barrier two on the back line. The Barry Howlett-trained My Prayer (Chris Lewis) and the David Thompson-prepared Mandy Joan (Dylan Egerton-Green) are racing keenly and will have admirers after drawing favourably, at barriers one and two, respectively. Annie Belton’s promising filly La Roue De Lamour will be driven by Kim Prentice from the No. 3 barrier, and though she has managed only one win (at Bunbury four starts ago) she is on the upward path and is capable of a bold showing. She was most unlucky in a prelude last Friday night when she trailed the pacemaker Arma Indie before being shuffled back at the 500m mark when the leader began to tire badly. La Roue De Lamour recovered and flashed home to be an eye-catching fourth behind Balcatherine.   Ken Casellas

No mare has won the Laurie Kennedy Race For Roses more than once. But ace Banjup trainer-reinsman Colin Brown firmly believes that six-year-old Eden Franco has the ability to create history by winning the $30,000 2503m standing-start feature event for the second time. Eden Franco is the lone backmarker off 50m in Friday night’s Race For Roses at Gloucester Park when her clash with brilliant four-year-olds Our Angel of Harlem and Miss Sangrial should provide one of the highlights on a highly attractive ten-event program. Brown admits that the 50m handicap represents a serious challenge to Eden Franco, a big and powerful Christian Cullen mare who has raced only 36 times for 14 wins, 11 seconds and four thirds. But he believes she has the class to overcome that disadvantage. “Starting off 50 metres provides a big task,” Brown said. “However, I’m sure she will go very well. Without a doubt, she is the fittest I’ve ever had her and on occasions she has shown that she can absolutely fly the stand. “We stood her up on the track the other day and she belted out. She’s got the hood on for the first time. I thought she’d been becoming complacent and had been having a lend of me lately. With the hood, she’s a different animal. “I put her in this race because I thought it would be a better lead-up for her for the $50,000 Breeders Stakes the following week, rather than go in the Free-For-All against the boys and have them dictate to me, whereas over the 2503m of the Race For Roses I can run the race that I want to run.” Twelve months ago, Eden Franco started off the 10m mark in the Race For Roses and was a 9/2 chance. She began speedily and burst to the front after 550m. She gave her rivals little chance when she sped over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 28.1sec. to win by two and a half lengths from Sarah Goody. Miss Sangrial (20m) and Our Angel of Harlem (30m) are racing in grand style and look set to fight out the finish, while other good four-year-olds Rosies Ideal (10m), Veiled Secret (10m), Our Major Mama (front) and Purest Silk (front) cannot be underestimated. The Michael Brennan-trained Miss Sangrial (Michel Grantham) warmed up for Friday night’s race in marvellous fashion when she started from the 30m mark and sustained a powerful finishing burst to win a 2631m stand from Major Pocket at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Three starts before that she was a $59.60 outsider when she ran home strongly from fifth at the bell to win the 2536m Empress Stakes from Our Alfie Romeo and Lady De La Renta. “She loves racing and I consider that she is one of the top three mares in the State,” said Brennan. Miss Sangrial has already earned $198,119 from 16 wins and 124 placings from 47 starts. Our Angel of Harlem, trained by Mike Reed, has won at 11 of her 32 starts and was most impressive last Friday night when she started out wide at barrier eight and finished powerfully from last at the bell to be third behind Herrick Roosevelt and Overboard Again. Our Angel of Harlem won at each of her three previous starts and has bright prospects of giving reinsman Mark Reed his second victory in the Race For Roses. He trained and drove Regina Mia when she was successful in 2000. Ross Olivieri boasts the best record as a trainer in the Race For Roses which was first run in 1997. He has been successful with Yippy Yi Yo (1998), Arctic Fire (2011), Selkie (2014) and Sheer Rocknroll (2017). He will be represented this year by Veiled Secret (10m) frontmarker Halle Rage. Veiled Secret, to be driven by Chris Voak, ran an excellent trial for Friday night’s race when she set the pace and dashed over the final quarters in 27.9sec. and 28.7sec. to win the group 2 Johnson final for mares over 2130m last Friday night. Halle Rage will be handled by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who notched his 100th winner in WA this season when Jilliby Jake led and easily beat Allwood Peacemaker in a 2536m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Halle Rage, unplaced at her four starts since winning a 1730m mobile event two months ago, faces a tough task. Lewis has the best record as a driver in the Race For Roses, having won the event behind Lady De Beau (2007), Arctic Fire, Selkie and Sheer Rocknroll. Justin Prentice trains and drives Our Major Mama, whose recent form has been only fair. Prentice was successful as a trainer and driver with The Parade (2015) and Digital Art (2016).   Ken Casellas

Seven years in the wilderness is a very long time and ten-year-old pacer Hezgot Fusion Power made a remarkable return to racing after an absence of 2061 days when he won $7500 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. He was so fat late last year that Coolup farrier and harness racing trainer Hayden Reeves feared that he would have a heart attack when he was jogging him. A winner of two races from 13 starts in New Zealand, Hezgot Fusion Power was purchased by clients of Bunbury trainer John Graham and he impressed greatly for his new connections with three wins and a second from seven starts as a three-year-old, as well as a sound seventh behind Im Victorious in the WA Derby at Gloucester Park in April 2012. The Derby run was followed by a second at Bunbury and a win at Harvey. He then fractured a sesamoid bone in a hind leg, and after surgery had a year off. “He was brought back into work after that, but broke down again,” said Reeves. “Then he kinda got left because a whole bunch of babies were coming through the Graham stable. “I was shoeing for John one day last November and he said ‘do you want a challenge, a project?’ I’m always looking for horses and said I was up for about anything. John told me about the horse’s history and said that he was really, really fat. I asked how fat a horse could be and he said ‘he’s exceptionally fat.’ “We decided to take him and when we went to pick him up, we had to take up two bays in the float by removing the divider. He was just enormous, and my wife Ash said that if she had known the horse was that fat there was no way that she would have agreed for me to take him. “And since we had got him home, he’s basically been on a starvation diet just hay in the morning and at night. He is such a good doer that it’s still a job to keep the weight off him. “However, you wouldn’t know that he’s a ten-year-old; he’s so athletic. I started tracking him in January and have brought him along very slowly. It’s amazing that he has made it (to this stage).” Hezgot Fusion Power, a 9/2 chance, was not bustled out from barrier six by Bailey McDonough and the oldtimer settled down in sixth position in the one-wide line. McDonough urged Hezgot Fusion Power forward, three wides, after 250m and he ambled to the breeze. Hezgot Fusion Power took a narrow lead 250m from home and he was not extended in winning from the pacemaker and 11/8 favourite Glowing Report. The win gave Reeves his first city success since Edna Anne, driven by Nigel Johns, charged home from last at the 700m to get up and beat Kamwood Girl by a head in an event for three-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on August 13, 2010. Three starts earlier, Edna Anne, a $123 outsider, ran on from 11th in the middle stages to win the Group 1 $100,000 State Sires Series final for fillies to give Reeves his biggest moment in harness racing.   Ken Casellas

Talented young horseman Michael Grantham lives a very busy life, but he is still seeking to conquer fresh challenges. He took a gamble recently and backed his judgment when he purchased veteran pacer Maras Ace Man, considered by many as a hopeless proposition. He was rewarded at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park last Saturday night when he produced the seven-year-old Maras Ace Man in fine fettle and drove him to a decisive all-the-way victory, giving him his first success as a trainer. Backed from $11 to $3.90 on the fixed market and paying $5.80 on the tote, Maras Ace Man romped to victory, beating the $3.30 favourite Newsletter by just over six lengths after speeding over the final quarters in 28.8sec. and 27.6sec. and rating 1.57.8 over the 2100m journey. This was a remarkable performance by a pacer who had managed just one win and eight placings from 95 starts. It ended a losing sequence of 39 and showed that none of us should give up hope. His only victory was at Gloucester Park in August 2017 when he was a rank outsider at $83.60, with Robbie Williams in the sulky The gelding had been beaten by a combined total of 2886.8 metres (or 962.3 lengths) in his previous 94 unsuccessful starts and that represents an average losing margin of 10.2 lengths or 30.7 metres. He had been unplaced at his 13 previous starts before appearing at Bunbury last Saturday and his form in those outings made miserable reading: a sixth, two sevenths, two ninths, five tenths and three elevenths. In those races he started at the following long odds: $58.80, $59.70, $108.20, $64.80, $160.50, $130.30, $104.40, $26, $165.70, $160, $126, $101 and $91. And how and why did the 23-year-old Grantham buy Maras Ace Man? “I had driven him just once, and that was at Gloucester Park last December when he finished tenth (beaten by a margin of 64.9m),” Grantham explained. “I liked him and when I saw that he was offered for sale for $1500 in February, I bought him with the idea of rejuvenating him.” Grantham offered a share in Maras Ace Man to his good friend, Kurt Pellington, a painter from Byford who had never owned a share in a horse. “I thought that a change of scenery would benefit Maras Ace Man and I give him no hopple work,” said Grantham, a former brilliant apprentice jockey and now a highly successful reinsman who has already driven 63 winners this season. Maras Ace Man is stabled at Neville Parnham’s pre-training establishment in Banjup, a plush property managed by Grantham’s uncle Paul. “Becoming a trainer gives me something different to do,” Grantham said. “I have a lot to do; I drive full-time for my Dad (who runs a horse transport business) and I do trackwork on Wednesdays and Saturdays for Mouse (Michael Brennan). I ride Maras Ace Man at 3.30 every morning and also gallop him down at the beach.” For good measure, he also drives at two, three or four meetings every week. Grantham started his training career late last year when he leased Heez Chivalrous but after three disappointing unplaced runs on country tracks, Grantham relinquished his lease and Maras Ace Man gave him his first training success at his fourth attempt. There is little doubt that the modest stake of $2562 for winning at Bunbury will be just the tip of the iceberg. Grantham retains an interest in thoroughbred racing and is a member of a syndicate which owns handy three-year-old galloper Apparition, a winner at York recently. He is a young man with fierce ambitions, a great work ethic and the ability to be a leading light in the harness racing industry for many years.   Ken Casellas

Unbeaten filly Double Expresso faces a moment of truth when she clashes with a trio of talented colts in Secret Operation, Poisedtopounce and Jaspervellabeach in the $50,000 Champagne Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. However, trainer Ross Olivieri and champion reinsman Chris Lewis have a high opinion of Double Expresso and are confident she is capable of maintaining her impeccable record. Lewis, who has won the Champagne Classic a record seven times with Pardon Me Boys (1987), Talladega (1999), Wirrpunda (2001), All Four Firing (2000), Slick Operator (2001), David Hercules (2009) and Mister Jadore (2013) said: “If she can beat the colts, it will be an exceptional feat. “It is always hard for a filly to come up against the colts, but she’s pretty relaxed and I’m able to use a few options with her. She hasn’t raced beyond 1730m, but I’m sure the 2130m won’t be a problem.” Double Expresso is a free-rolling filly who has not been fully extended in recording convincing victories in all of her five starts in which her average winning margin is 7.6 metres. She is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier in the field of five in the group 2 event. Coolup trainer Kristy Elson holds a strong hand in the race with three runners, Secret Operation (Michael Grantham), Jaspervellabeach (Nathan Turvey) and Telk Tayte. Jaspervellabeach is unbeaten at his two appearances, both over 1730m. He will start from barrier four. He possesses excellent gate speed and he began fast from the No. 5 barrier when he set the pace and won by two and a half lengths from Secret Operation at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week. Secret Operation was slow to begin, and he caught the eye with a powerful finishing burst when he charged home from last in a field of seven to make up several lengths on Jasperbellabeach in the home straight. “He flew home,” said Grantham. “If the pace is on, he’ll be flashing home and they’ll definitely know he’s there. Double Expresso’s form is faultless and Poisedtopounce was impressive when he won at Pinjarra on Monday.” Poisedtopounce, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will start from the prized No. 1 barrier. He has good gate speed, but not exceptional early pace. He warmed up for Friday night’s classic with a convincing victory at Pinjarra on Monday. He began smartly from barrier five but was forced to race four wide for the first 250m before he took up the running 200m later. The four quarters of the race whizzed by in 28.7sec., 28.9sec., 27.7sec. and 28.7sec., with Poisedtopounce rating a fast 1.54.1. Fillies have a reasonable record in the Champagne Stakes, which was first run in 1970. In the past 25 years five fillies have been successful - Nowuseemenowudont (2000), Sheza Clout (2006), Arma Xpress (2012), Tricky Styx (2014) and Cott Beach (2017). Cott Beach, a 6/1 chance driven by Turvey, finished powerfully from ninth at the bell to win from another filly, Miss Sangrial (33/1). Cott Beach was trained by Gary Elson, whose daughter Kristy is keen to emulate him by scoring this week with one of her three runners. Lewis has driven 99 winners this season (98 in WA) and Double Expresso is the best of his eight drives on the night. It would be fitting if he brought up the century in a Group 2 feature event. Ken Casellas

Shannon Suvaljko, last season's leading West Australian driver, will handle the promising Art Major mare Salacious Gossip for the first time when the five-year-old starts from barrier five in the 2130m Happy Easter From Gloucester Park Pace at pacing headquarters on Thursday night. Suvaljko, who has driven 83 winners this season, will replace outstanding young reinsman Bailey McDonough, who has handled Salacious Gossip at her past 16 starts for his grandfather, Bunbury trainer Frank Bonnett. Salacious Gossip has been in fine form this season, with four wins and four seconds from 13 starts. She was rated perfectly by McDonough when she set the pace and won convincingly from Jilliby Tango and The War Nurse at a 1.58.4 rate over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday of last week. McDonough has opted to take drives in seven events at the meeting at Wagin on Thursday night. Salacious Gossip, who has won twice at Gloucester Park, Bunbury and Pinjarra, will be seriously tested by the brilliant four-year-old Cott Beach, who has returned to racing after a nine-month absence in excellent form, with an impressive last-start victory over Mister Bushido at Gloucester Park after a second to Liam Neil and a third behind Warfare and Vincenzo Peruggia. Vincenzo Peruggia will have a big following when he starts from barrier two in the Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace over 2130m on Thursday night. The Tony Svilicich-trained five-year-old will be driven by Lindsay Harper and will clash with in-form pacers Luis Alberto, Our Alfie Romeo, The Art Form and Kimani. Vincenzo Peruggia maintained his consistent form at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night when he finished determinedly from fourth at the bell to be a close second to The Midas Touch over 1730m. He has had 22 starts for Svilicich for six wins, seven seconds and two thirds. Luis Alberto, another five-year-old who is racing with wonderful heart, is sure to prove hard to beat from the No. 1 barrier. Luis Alberto has been finishing powerfully in recent starts from unfavourable barriers for Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis, who has given the Bettors Delight gelding nine starts for five wins, one second, one third and two fourth placings. Luis Alberto possesses good gate speed and Jocelyn Young is sure to seriously contemplate taking full advantage of this from the inside draw.   Ken Casellas

Eight-year-old Soho Wonder has impressed on the past two Friday nights with fast-finishing placings over 2536m. However, the Jet Laag gelding could well be seen in a vastly different role when he starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m Westral Pace for trainer-reinsman Brett Smith at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. He has set the pace and won nine times --- at Ballarat, Ararat (before being relegated to second after a protest), Cranbourne, Young, Echuca, Gloucester Park (twice), Pinjarra and Wagin. Soho Wonder was a 100/1 chance two starts ago when he was restrained from barrier six and was 11th at the bell before flashing home, out five wide, from ninth on the home turn to finish second to the pacemaker Debt Free Charlie. Then, last Friday night, he was restrained from barrier eight and sustained a spirited three-wide burst from last at the bell to finish third behind Mighty Flying Deal and Good Times Ahead. Smith is sure to seriously contemplate making full use of Soho Wonder's excellent gate speed in a bid to record an all-the-way victory. Veteran Three Kings (barrier two) and the promising Just Bet On Black (barrier three) possess excellent gate speed, but it is difficult to visualise either of them outgunning Soho Wonder at the start. Just Bet On Black, trained and driven by Dylan Egerton-Green, appeals as Soho Wonder's toughest rival. The six-year-old who has had 41 starts for 11 wins, nine seconds and three thirds, is in good form. He finished boldly from seventh at the bell when a last-start fourth behind Bob Wheel last Friday week and he was a strong winner from Dominate The Dojo and Mistersandman two starts before that. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis has given punters an excellent lead by opting to handle Marquisard in preference to Carte Blanche and Destined To Rule in the 2130m Cowden The Insurance Brokers Pace. Marquisard, trained by Craig Abercromby, has drawn the coveted No. 1 barrier and Lewis will be determined to use the four-year-old's natural gate speed in a bid for an all-the-way victory. Marquisard set the pace from barrier one over 2130m last Friday night and was overhauled right on the line by the fast-finishing Ideal One to go down by a half-head. Marquisard now has started from the No. 1 barrier four times from 53 starts for three all-the-way wins and last week's second placing. Lewis has been the regular driver for Destined To Rule and Carte Blanche. Deni Roberts will drive Destined To Rule from the No. 3 barrier and Jocelyn Young has been engaged for Carte Blanche, who is poorly drawn out wide at barrier eight.   Ken Casellas

A meticulous plan by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond to acclimatise Mighty Conqueror to standing-start racing has excellent prospects of bearing fruit when the lightly-raced and highly talented four-year-old contests the $50,000 Easter Cup at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. With the Group 2 Easter Cup the target, the New Zealand-bred Mighty Conqueror has had a thorough education in stands, having contested stands at his past six starts, leading into this week's big race over the marathon trip of 2902m. He has not been faultless, but has shown a growing aptitude to this style of racing after his first ten starts were in mobiles --- which included a victory in the $50,000 Four-Year-Old Championship, third in the $125,000 Four-Year-Old Classic and a nose second to stablemate Ana Malak in the $200,000 Golden Nugget Championship late last year --- before beginning his well thought-out campaign in stands. These stands produced a desperately unlucky fourth in the Northam Cup (after hanging in and breaking 500m from home and going six wide on the home turn), four wins at Pinjarra (three over 2631m and one over 2116m) and a half-head second to Rocknroll Beachboy over 2631m at Pinjarra after breaking and working hard in the breeze. At his most recent appearance Mighty Conqueror started off the 20m mark and enjoyed an ideal trail in the one-out and one-back position before racing away to win by 14m from Bettor Be Lively, dashing over the final three quarters in 29.4sec., 28.7sec. and 27.9sec. and setting a track record for the distance of 1.56 last Monday week. Mighty Conqueror, the least experienced runner in Friday night's Cup, with 11 wins, two seconds and a third from just 16 starts, will start from the outside of the 20m line, which is virtually only a 10m handicap because there are no runners off the front line. He will again be driven by the State's leading reinsman Ryan Warwick, who guided the Steve Burton-trained Phar From A Fake to victory in the 2004 Easter Cup. The Bonds are following their successful plan of two years ago when they gave Assassinator three starts in stands leading into the Easter Cup. Assassinator, a 15/1 chance driven by Ryan Bell, led for the first lap before taking the sit behind the stablemate Galactic Star and then finishing fast to snatch a head victory from the 5/4 fancy. In an even field this year, several runners have winning prospects, with Mighty Conqueror's chief rivals likely to be Caviar Star, As Happy As Larry, Sarah Goody and Miss Sangrial. Caviar Star, trained by Gary Hall Snr and to be driven by Stuart McDonald, and As Happy As Larry, trained by Robbie Williams and to be driven by Chris Lewis, are in peak form and are the lone runners off the back mark of 30m. Caviar Star, an up-and-coming four-year-old, has won at 11 of his past 20 starts and was gallant in defeat last Friday night when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing a close second to the pacemaker Kiwi Legend, who rated 1.54 over 1730m, with final quarters in 27.4sec. and 28.1sec. Two weeks earlier, Caviar Star was most impressive when he started off 30m and sustained a spirited three-wide burst from the 1050m to get to the front 550m from home and then race away to win by three lengths from Tuas Delight, rating 1.58.2 over 2503m. As Happy As Larry warmed up for the Cup in fine style last Friday week when he finished powerfully to win from Lady De La Renta over 2130m. Lewis is the most successful reinsman in the Easter Cup which was first run in 1912 when Golddust won at a 2.44 rate. Lewis has won the Cup with Pallaton (1980), Gold Rowan (1984), Village Kid (1987), Abmidas (1997), OK Windermere (who dead-heated with Patches in 2006) and Lovers Delight (2015). Gary Hall Jnr has won the Cup five times --- with The Falcon Strike (off the back mark of 20m) in 2003, Patches (off the back mark of 30m) in 2006, Uppy Son (10m) in 2012, Rebel Scooter (10m) in 2013, and Znana (off the front) in 2016. This year he will handle the Kevin Keys-trained mare Sarah Goody, who will start off 20m. Sarah Goody has won at 15 of her 40 starts and is in fine form, with two wins from three starts since resuming from a spell. She handled the stand well six starts ago when she finished boldly to be second to Eden Franco in the 2503m Race For Roses early in May last year. Twelve months before that Sarah Goody surged home from last at the bell to finish second to Maczaffair in the WA Oaks. Five-year-old Sarah Goody and four-year-old Miss Sangrial are the only mares in the field of 12. Party Date, trained and driven by Aiden Warwick, was the most recent Cup winner by a mare, when she beat Heez Ruthless and Faking It in 2005. Among the classy martes to have won the Easter Cup are Kola Girl (1920), Derby Fayette (1938), Portree (1959), Color Glo (1967), Miss Dundee (1971), Wee Cent (1974) and Via Valencia (1991). Miss Sangrial, to be driven by Michael Grantham for his uncle, trainer Michael Brennan, should be prominent throughout and is capable of causing a minor upset. The Colin Joss-trained Bettor Be Lively is racing keenly, particularly in stands, and reinsman Shannon Suvaljko is optimistic that the gelding will perform strongly.   Ken Casellas

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