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

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

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

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

Hello Hotshot, a two-year-old filly who is closely related to former champion pacer Auckland Reactor, will command considerable attention when she makes her debut in the Bridge Bar Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.  Purchased in Auckland for $15,000 as a yearling, the daughter of Canadian stallion Four Starzzz Shark has had two trials at Bunbury’s Donaldson Park this month for two wins for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, who races the filly in partnership with his wife Lyn and their son Jimmy. She beat stablemate Rosies Delight, rating a very modest 2.7.9 in a two-horse educational trial over 1609m on August 11 before she set the pace and beat Rosies Delight by 11m in an eight-horse trial over 2185m on Sunday, rating 2.4.7, with final quarters in 28.3sec. and 29.5sec. Hello Hotshot will be driven by Chris Lewis and should make a bold bid for victory from the favourable No. 2 barrier. Rosies Delight, a $20,000 yearling owned by the Howlett family, will start from barrier five in the field of eight with Colin Brown in the sulky. She is by Bettors Delight out of Jessies Cullen, who earned $51,305 from nine wins and eight placings from 50 starts. She is related to Pazam, a winner at 19 of her 31 WA starts in a 41-start career of 22 wins and six placings for earnings of $136,113. The two Howlett runners are sure to be tested by the more experienced Fake News and Countess Grace, with Fake News, trained by Gary Hall Snr and to be driven by Gary Hall Jnr, expected to be a short-priced favourite after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. Fake News has had seven starts for one win and two seconds. She had a tough run last Friday week when she raced three wide in the early stages and then worked hard in the breeze before fading to sixth behind the Mike Reed-trained Countess Grace. Three days before that Fake News trailed the pacemaker Major Artist before finishing fast to win from that filly and Countess Grace. Countess Grace followed her fast-finishing third to Fake News with a brilliant all-the-way victory over Rocking With Donna and Majorpride over 2130m last Friday week. That was her first victory from seven starts and she looks set for a bright career. However, she will be tested from the outside barrier in a field of eight on Friday night. Hello Hotshot’s dam May Fly (by Mach Three) was retired after racing ten times for two wins, two placings and stakes of $12,980. May Fly’s dam Bishops Blessing is a half-sister to Auckland Reactor, who was retired to stud after amassing $1,837,043 from 32 wins and four placings from 53 starts. Bishops Blessing produced Devil Dodger, who had 231 starts for 38 wins, 61 placings and $718,692. He was third behind Russley Rascal and Five Star Anvil in the Group 1 Gt Northern Derby at Alexandra Park in March 2010 and second to Sir Lincoln in the Group 1 Emerald at Cambridge three months later before winning the Group 1 Australasian Breeders Crown for three-year-old colts and geldings at Melton in August 2010. Hello Hotshot is also related to Taihape Tickler, a winner of 11 races at Gloucester Park, and The Parade, who earned $425,999 from 22 wins and 15 placings from 55 starts. Her wins included the Group 1 $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park in December 2016 and the Group 2 Empress Stakes two months later. Ken Casellas

Evergreen gelding Shardons Rocket will contest his final race when he starts from the outside of the front line in the 2130m Gloucester Park, Entertainment With Horsepower Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The New Zealand-bred Shardons Rocket, owned and trained by Tony Svilicich, has been remarkably free of injury and has competed in 377 races for 45 wins, 55 seconds and 39 thirds for stakes of $626,245. He has been unplaced at his past 17 starts, has a losing sequence of 52 and will be at long odds from his wide draw. Shardons Rocket will turn 14 on Saturday and will be forced into compulsory retirement. He has been handled by 35 drivers throughout his career, and they include Grant Campbell (13 wins), Chris Lewis (12), Colin Brown (six) and Morgan Woodley (five). His most important success was in the Group 3 Navy Cup at Gloucester Park in October 2014 when Woodley drove him to a head victory over Polak.   Ken Casellas

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

Most equine champions have a haughty appearance and an almost supercilious arrogance but Western Australia’s pacing superstar Chicago Bull certainly does not fit that mould. He is a plain chunky little bay with a short neck and short legs. He has a pleasing placid temperament and never appears to be ruffled or agitated. His only distinguishing feature is his white stocking on his off hind leg. Now a rising six-year-old and at the peak of his powers, Chicago Bull derives his great strength from his well-muscled chest and hindquarters. A wonderful heart obviously provides him with his tremendous speed and endurance. He has won at each of his past six starts, including his five runs since resuming from a spell and he is poised to improve on his magnificent record by winning the Nexus Health and Wellness Expo Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Chicago Bull has certainly come a long way under the expert care of master trainer Gary Hall Snr since he was purchased for $122,000 (landed in WA) in June 2015. He had then had seven starts as a two-year-old in New Zealand for two wins over 1609m at the Central Southland Raceway in Winton (north of Invercargill) when he sprinted home fast from last in small fields of eight and five runners. Chicago Bull, who is being set for the Victoria Cup, New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion championship at Melton and the WA Pacing Cup and Fremantle Cup over the next five months, has been a revelation in WA where he has amassed $1,578,504 in prizemoney from 34 wins, six seconds and eight thirds from 49 starts. His only unplaced effort was his fourth behind 45/1 outsider Jambiani, Run Oneover and Simply Susational in the 2130m Howard Porter Memorial at Gloucester Park in September last year when he was racing first-up after a two-month absence.   He will start from barrier four on Friday night and Gary Hall Jnr is sure to dictate the terms of the race, either in front or in the breeze, leaving stablemate Runrunjimmydunn, The Bucket List and others to fight out the minor placings. Ken Casellas

Simba Bromac, who boasts a remarkable record in WA of 17 wins, four seconds, two thirds and one fourth from 24 starts, faces the biggest test of his brief career when he clashes with Mitch Maguire in the $25,000 www.gloucesterpark.com.au Schrader final at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The clash between the two New Zealand-bred four-year-olds, the youngest runners in the 2130m event, promises to be the highlight of the ten-race program. Both are brilliant frontrunners, but neither is expected to lead after Simba Bromac drew out wide at barrier seven on the front line and Mitch Maguire drew the back line. However, each is extremely versatile and should fight out the finish. Simba Bromac was not extended in scoring an easy all-the-way victory last Friday night when, after a moderate early pace, he sped over the final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27sec. This week Chris Lewis is unlikely to have the luxury of being able to send Simba Bromac to the front in the early stages, with speedy beginners Mister Versace, Debt Free Charlie, Extreme Prince and Arthur Lowe drawn on his inside. Lewis will be hoping for better fortune than he experienced in last year’s Schrader final when he drove the 6/4 favourite Military Master and was involved in a hectic battle for the early lead and then, after getting to the front, was challenged strongly by Ideal Tyson. Military Master led until the final 100m before wilting to finish eighth behind the fast-finishing 20/1 chance Rabchenko. Simba Bromac is prepared by Nathan Turvey, who will also be represented by Arthur Lowe and Livura. Turvey will handle the consistent Livura (barrier No. 6) and Jocelyn Young will be in the sulky behind the polemarker Arthur Lowe, who is capable of improvement after two unplaced efforts following a two-month absence. Mitch Maguire, a $43,000 yearling and winner at 17 of his 26 starts, has returned to action after a 13-month absence in grand fashion with three easy victories. The small and speedy Sportswriter stallion is trained by Greg and Skye Bond, who have won the Schrader Pace with Tuapeka Kahu in 2014 and Risk in 2016. Tuapeka Kahu was favourite at 7/4 when Ryan Warwick drove him to victory over Say It Now, with three other Bond runners, Jay Bees Grin, Lunar Tide and Condrieu finishing third, fourth and fifth, respectively. The Bonds had three runners in the 2015 Schrader final, with Ohoka Squire finishing second, Jungle Jewel third and Condrieu fourth behind the winner Norvic Nightowl. Ryan Bell drove Risk to victory over the 7/4 on favourite and pacemaker American Boy in 2016. Leading trainer Gary Hall Snr, who was successful with Norvic Nightowl, is pinning his faith on Extreme Prince, who will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr from barrier five on the front line. Extreme Prince trailed the pacemaker Simba Bromac and battled on gamely when a well-beaten second to that pacer last Friday night. Ken Casellas

The consistent Vampiro has been earmarked as a special by three members of the WA Trotting Media Guild for Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park. This season’s leading tipster Matt Young, GPTV’s Ken Casellas and Guild president Wayne Currall have all given the Greg and Skye Bond-trained pacer the thumbs up in the night’s only standing-start event. “My best bet on the card is Vampiro,” Young said. “He is low flying and back to a stand should see him get a well-deserved win.” Casellas agrees with Young’s take on the race. “Richly talented four-year-old Vampiro drops massively in class on Friday night and the New Zealand-bred gelding is my star bet off the 20m mark,” Casellas said. “He gave an eye-catching performance last Friday night when he was sixth at the bell and thundered home to be a close second to Johnny Disco in a 1730m sprint. A week earlier, he worked hard in the breeze when an excellent third to Runrunjimmydunn and Motu Premier in the 3309m Marathon Handicap.” Currall believes Vampiro has the ability to overcome his 20m impost. “Vampiro is ultra consistent and hasn’t finished further back than fourth at his past 15 starts,” Currall said. “The horse resumed from a three-month break in June and has recorded three seconds and three thirds from his seven starts and is poised to break through on Friday night.” Last season’s leading tipster Stuart Lowe and TABradio’s Matt McDermott are keen on another Bond-trained horse in the shape of El Jacko. “My best bet is the speedy El Jacko, who has run three solid thirds since a good win at GP in July,” Lowe said. “Despite his wide draw here, he appears to have an edge on his rivals and looks the one to beat.” McDermott agrees with Lowe. “El Jacko is the class horse of the field and will appreciate the extra distance from his wide gate,” McDermott said. “He looks the best bet on the program.” Longshot guru Pat Harding has labelled the prolific-winning Simba Bromac as his star bet. “In a night likely to be dominated by the Bond and Hall camps, finding value for punters has not been easy,” Harding said. “However, in race three Simba Bromac should continue on his winning way. Again he has the advantage of barrier one and should be an easy drive for Chris Lewis.” The West Australian’s Ernie Manning likes polemarker Hes Talking in the seventh race. “Hes Talking looks hard to beat from the prized pole position in his 1730m event,” Manning said. “The Colin Brown-trained gelding is an established standing-start performer, however showed gate speed from the mobile last Friday night. He faced the breeze early and ran unplaced, but now gets a better chance to display ability which has enabled him to win twice from five Gloucester Park starts.” Racing co-ordinator at The West Australian Ryan Havercroft believes the State’s best pacer Chicago Bull will continue on his winning ways. “It’s impossible to go past Chicago Bull who has been in impeccable form since returning from a spell,” Havercroft said. “Trainer Gary Hall has signalled an intention to travel east with his star pacer next season and he should easily account for his six rivals here.” VALUE BETS Matt Young: Nothing In Between has so-so form but over the mile and the moderate field along with Kyle Harper guiding helps this horse and gives him a great each-way chance of going the trip. Ken: For value, I suggest Just A Legend in race nine which appears to be an extremely open affair. He has a very modest winning record of just six per cent (seven wins from 108 starts), but his past couple of runs have been encouraging. Wayne: Fizzing should find the front for new reinsman Chris Lewis in the opening event and could prove hard to catch despite the class of odds-on favourite King Of Swing. Stuart: The value bet is Gonzos Shadow, who ran a good race at Northam behind Roman Aviator last week. Placed at two of his previous four starts. In a wide-open race he gets his chance to win in the metropolitan area. Matt McDermott: Vampiro began safe at his first stand in the recent Marathon Handicap. He’s a versatile pacer and deserves a win. Pat: I think Chris Lewis can bob up again in the ninth race with Aussie Jet. There's not much exposed form in this race and Ausssie Jet from barrier six stands as good a chance as anything else in the race. Ernie: Zara Whitby was getting beaten in outer country races at the end of her last campaign. But she has won at Gloucester Park and is capable of a bold first-up run for trainer Edwin Dewar. Ryan: Pink Diamonds ran a nice trial when qualifying last Sunday at Pinjarra. Though not hunted out of the gate, she balanced up nicely and got to the leaders easily in the closing stages and that effort suggests she may have a bright future. To view all of the Media Guild tips click here. Good Punting Wayne Currall

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

Equine millionaire Chicago Bull, whose ambitious program next season includes the Victoria Cup, New Zealand Cup, Inter Dominion championship, Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup, looks set to continue his dominance of local feature events by winning the $25,000 August Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The star five-year-old has the class to overcome an awkward barrier (No. 6) and prove the master of his six rivals and give Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr a record sixth victory in the August Cup which was first run in 1950 when Doug Booth drove Lily Girl to victory at a 2.18.2 rate. Hall trained and drove Zakara to wins in the August Cup in 1992, 1993 and 1994 and was also successful with Im Themightyquinn in 2010 and Northview Punter in 2014 when those pacers were handled by his son Gary, who also won the 2013 August Cup with the Stephen Reed-trained Uppy Son. Hall has also prepared the second and third placegetters in the past two August Cups, with Run Oneover and Cyamach being placed behind Bettors Fire in 2016 and Ideal Alice and Run Oneover finishing behind the $96.10 outsider Jambiani 12 months ago. Hall Jnr will drive Chicago Bull, with Stuart McDonald, who brought Jambiani home with a rattling run from fifth and three back on the pegs at the bell to defeat Ideal Alice and the pacemaker Run Oneover, engaged for Runrunjimmydunn. Nathan Turvey will be in the sulky behind the Hall stable’s third Cup runner My Hard Copy. Eight-year-old My Hard Copy, a dual WA Pacing Cup winner and conqueror of the mighty Lazarus in the Fremantle Cup last summer, resumed after an absence of just over four months in fine style last Friday night when he gave a bold frontrunning display to win convincingly from Galactic Star and The Bucket List over 2536, with final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.2sec. Galactic Star fought on solidly after racing without cover for more than two laps after starting from the outside barrier. He is favourably drawn at No. 3 this week and Ryan Warwick is likely to consider the prospect of leading. Ken Casellas

Shannon Suvaljko, the State’s leading reinsman this season with 177 winners, has given punters a strong lead by choosing to drive Three Kings ahead of Algranco Under Fire, Extreme Dreams, Qtown Rip Roaring and Bad Round in the Yes Loans, We Say Yes More Often Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. “Three Kings went good last start when third behind Simba Bromac last week and he is my best winning chance on Friday night,” Suvaljko said. “From barrier two he should find the front and take catching. I’d say that Qtown Rip Roaring is the main danger.” Three Kings, trained at Wanneroo by Debbie Padberg, is a noted frontrunner and the eight-year-old has bright prospects of notching his 13th win after managing only one victory from his past 39 starts. He raced in fifth position, three back on the pegs, last week before fighting on solidly to be third behind Simba Bromac, who sped over the final three 400m sections of the final mile in 28.6sec., 27.9sec. and 28.4sec.   Qtown Rip Roaring, a seven-year-old trained by Matt Scott, has managed only four placings from 13 starts this season after winning five times from 30 starts last season. However, his recent efforts, when driven by Suvaljko, have been encouraging. He raced three back on the pegs before finishing solidly into fourth place behind Major Pocket at Northam last Saturday night. Two starts before that he ran home strongly from sixth at the bell to be a close second to Pacific Playboy over 2503m at Bunbury. Qtown Rip Roaring will be handled by Gary Hall Jnr, who has driven the gelding only once in his 111-start career when eighth behind Lightning Jolt at Pinjarra 55 starts ago, on June 6, 2016. Qtown Rip Roaring is one of three Scott runners in Friday night’s race, the others being C C Chevron (Chris Lewis) and Ideal Diamante (Micheal Ferguson). C C Chevron has drawn wide at barrier No. 8, but has sound place prospects after placings at Northam at her past two starts. Chris Voak, who is enjoying his most successful season in the sulky with 153 winners, said he considered that his best winning prospect on Friday night was Gonzos Shadow in race nine, the TABtouch Make Your Bet Matter Pace. Gonzos Shadow, a five-year-old trained at Meckering by Garry Elliott, is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven in the 1730m sprint event. He was a winner for Voak over 2500m at Kellerberrin seven starts ago and Voak was happy with the gelding’s recent placings at Narrogin and Bunbury. “He’s a really good each-way chance,” said Voak. “The 1730m doesn’t really suit him and he’s better over a (longer) journey. But he is still a good chance on Friday night.” One of the fancies against Gonzos Shadow is the Hayden Reeves-trained eight-year-old Aussie Jet, who will be driven by Chris Lewis from barrier six. Aussie Jet, whose most recent success was at Gloucester Park in April 2015, sat behind the pacemaker Tajie Baby when an unlucky third behind Iceenothink when he was blocked for a clear passage in the final stages.   Ken Casellas

Deb and Chris Lewis may have found a diamond in the rough! Their 3yo filly set to debut this week after a solid Pinjarra trial performance was destined to become a family pet before finally showing some spark in the gig. Watch the full interview here   Ken Casellas

Punters face a puzzling predicament as they ponder the possibilities in the TABtouch Pace over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Friday night, with the powerful Greg and Skye Bond stable providing four of the eight runners. The Bonds will be represented by the speedy frontrunning Johnny Disco and the in-form trio of El Jacko, Vampiro and Mighty Mr Sharkey. Interestingly, Ryan Warwick, the No. 1 stable driver for the Bonds, has elected to handle the talented, but somewhat enigmatic El Jacko, who will start from the outside barrier in the field of eight. Chris Lewis will drive Vampiro from barrier No. 7, Nathan Turvey will be in the sulky behind Mighty Mr Sharkey (barrier six) and Colin Brown will drive Johnny Disco from the prized No. 1 barrier. This will be Brown’s first drive behind Johnny Disco, who will be having his second start for the Bond stable. Brown is one of the State’s most accomplished frontrunning drivers and, given Johnny Disco’s brilliant gate speed, the plan to lead with him is quite obvious. Johnny Disco has started from the No. 1 barrier seven times for two wins (when he set the pace), a second (when he sat behind the pacemaker), two thirds and two fifths. He has started from barrier No. 2 nine times for four wins (three of which he led), three seconds (when he led), one fourth and one fifth. He has also led and won from barriers three and nine. Perhaps what will sway punters to support Johnny Disco will be the fact that he gave a superb frontrunning display from the No. 1 barrier when he led until the final 30m and finished a half-length second to the New Zealand superstar Ultimate Machete over 2130m at Gloucester Park last January. Johnny Disco made an excellent debut for the Bond stable last Friday week when he started at $71.20 from barrier two and raced three back on the pegs before finishing fifth behind champion pacer Chicago Bull, Devendra, Runrunjimmydunn and Beaudiene Boaz, a quartet of pacers with combined earnings of $3,408,702 and a total of exactly 100 wins. Vampiro and El Jacko are comparatively lightly raced and are extremely talented. Each has raced only once over 1730m, with El Jacko working in the breeze and winning at a 1.55.6 rate from the pacemaker Franco Rayner and Chicago Bull as a three-year-old in November 2015. Vampiro’s only appearance over 1730m was six weeks ago when he set the pace and finished third to stablemate Galactic Star and Bettors Fire, with the winner rating a brilliant 1.52. Vampiro is in solid condition after six splendid efforts (two seconds, three thirds and a fourth) after resuming from a spell. He gave an outstanding performance when a close third behind Runrunjimmydunn and Motu Premier in the 3309m Marathon Handicap last Friday night. He started off 30m and had a tough run without cover for much of the journey before taking the lead 620m from home and fighting on grandly.    Ken Casellas

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

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