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Boyanup harness racing trainer Justin Prentice is delighted at his smart two-year-old Has No Fear drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier in the $25,000 Western Crown for fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night and declared: “This looks ideal for her. She has got good gate speed, so if she can hold the front over the mile (1730m), she will be hard to beat. “At her most recent start (in the group 1 Sales Classic last Friday week) she fought all the way to the line, showing that she’s got a fair bit of toughness as well. It was the quickest time (1.57.6) she has run; she’s working well and is still improving.” Has No Fear was the only runner off the back line in that event and she raced in fifth position, one-out and one-back, before fighting on to finish a half-length second to the pacemaker Soho Interceptor. Before that, Has No Fear raced three times for a half-head second to Hong Kong Dolly on debut at Pinjarra and easy wins at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park. She has been driven in all her starts by Tom Buchanan, who will make every effort to jump to the front and set the pace on Friday night with the daughter of American stallion Western Terror. Prentice will also be represented by Delightfull (Aiden de Campo, barrier four) and She Said Diamonds (Shannon Suvaljko, barrier seven). “I was really happy with her latest run (third to Soho Interceptor and Has No Fear) and she has improved again from that,” he said. ”I would say that if you reversed the barrier draws with Delightfull and Has No Fear that Delightfull would be the horse to beat. “Barrier seven is not ideal for She Said Diamonds, but she’s a nice filly on the way up. Tommy (Buchanan) thought she was the winner at the 200m at Pinjarra on Monday. But she weakened to finish fifth behind Itz All About Magic. She’s still a bit fat and her run on Monday should prove beneficial.” Byford trainer Katja Warwick also has multiple runners in Friday night’s race in which she will be represented by Cap In Hand (Gary Hall jun., barrier two) and Hong Kong Dolly (Stuart McDonald, barrier five). Cap In Hand scored convincing wins at her first two starts, at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park in February, before she galloped at the start and then overraced when five back on the pegs and was distanced in the Sales Classic. Since then she has performed soundly in winning two trials at Byford and she should be prominent on Friday night from her favourable barrier at No. 2. Hong Kong Dolly was a winner on debut at Pinjarra early last month before she broke and raced roughly when a well-beaten sixth behind Has No Fear in a Sales Classic qualifying heat. She was checked and broke before recovering and winning a three-horse trial at Byford on Sunday morning. Ken Casellas

It promises to be just a stroll in the park for harness racing millionaire superstar Chicago Bull when he contests the $50,000 Direct Trades Supply Four And Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. This will be five-year-old Chicago Bull’s final appearance in a race for several months before champion trainer Gary Hall sen. prepares him for feature events next spring and summer, including the Interdominion championship series in Melbourne. Star reinsman Gary Hall jun. will have plenty of options when Chicago Bull lines up behind the mobile in barrier four on Friday night. The is a strong possibility that four-year-old Maxentius, a speedy frontrunner, will be given the task of leading by ace reinsman Colin Brown. In that case, Hall could be content to rate Chicago Bull in the breeze before applying pressure in the final circuit. Hall sen. summed up his son’s possible tactics by saying: “Chicago Bull will be in front or racing in the breeze. I would say he will win, with stablemate Runrunjimmydunn finishing second. Runrunjimmydunn (Clint Hall) is getting better all the time. “Chicago Bull will be spelled for six weeks and then brought back into work. He will probably resume racing in early September.”    Hall sen. has five of the eight runners in Friday night’s event --- Chicago Bull, Runrunjimmydunn, Ima Rocknroll Legend, Zach Maguire and Campora. Runrunjimmydunn will start from barrier three and is capable of a bold showing. He was most impressive in a 2130m event last Friday night when he started from the outside barrier (No. 8) and raced three wide in the early stages before applying pressure to the pacemaker Vampiro. He fought on with tremendous determination and finished a nose behind Vampiro at a 1.55.7 rate, with final quarters in 27.1sec. and 28.9sec. Runrunjimmydunn’s past nine starts have produced five wins and four seconds and he is certain to improve considerably on his record of 30 starts for 12 wins and nine placings for earnings of $123,098. The Ross Olivieri-trained mare Sheer Rocknroll has excellent place prospects. She will be driven by Chris Lewis from the No. 6 barrier. “She went terrific last Friday (when third behind Madame Meilland and Better B Chevron in the Empress Stakes) and I was very impressed with her,” Lewis said. Ken Casellas            

Khun Lek, trained in Capel by de Campo’s father Andrew, will be one of the fancies in the 2130m Building And Constructions At DTS Pace for harness racing mares after smart wins at Bunbury and Gloucester Park at her past two outings. She will start from barrier No. 5 on the front line and Aiden de Campo is planning to go forward at the start in a bid for the early lead or to take up a prominent forward position. In an open affair, Khun Lek, Rockin The Boys and Our Jeremes Gem appear to have sound prospects. Rockin The Boys and Our Jeremes Gem have each finished second at their past two starts and are due for a change of fortune. Khun Lek is by McArdle out of Chantic Sarah, a D M Dilinger mare who raced 17 times in Western Australia for five wins in 2008 and 2009 --- two at Narrogin and Wagin and one at Pinjarra. She is no relation to Khun Ratha, who finished powerfully to win at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Khun Ratha, recently purchased by Kristy Sheehy and Joshua Dunn, has earned $162,519 from 15 wins and 38 placings from 106 starts. He will start from the back line in the 2536m Hardware at DTS Pace on Friday night and has sound each-way prospects, with Shannon Suvaljko in the sulky. Suvaljko and de Campo have excellent prospects of winning the final event, the Direct Trades Supply Pace, in which Suvaljko will be in the sulky behind the polemarker Ctheballerina and de Campo will be driving Cest Lheure. Ctheballerina, unplaced at her past nine starts since winning over 2090m in Hobart last October, is a newcomer to Mike Reed’s Henley Brook stables and she caught the eye in a 2150m trial at Byford in Sunday morning when she surged home from sixth at the bell to be second to Ay Jays Dream. “She’s been all over the place, racing in New Zealand, Tasmania and Victoria,” Reed said. “I like her and whatever she does on Friday night, she will improve on.” Suvaljko watched the trial in which Ctheballerina was driven by Mark Reed, and gave the mare his tick of approval. “The only blue, first-up, is the longer distance of 2536m,” he said. De Campo described Cest Lheure as a handy horse who hardly ever runs a bad race and said that he was confident of a forward showing, without being in any way over-confident. Suvaljko will have a busy time on Friday night and apart from Golden State (who should win the WA Derby Prelude) he has many good each-way prospects among his drives behind A Boy Named Rosie, Chal Storm, Khun Ratha, She Said Diamonds, Our Jeremes Gem and Ctheballerina. He also spoke highly of Back To The Beach’s winning prospects in the Irrigation At DTS Westbred Pace. Back To The Beach, to be driven by Mitch Miller for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, will start from barrier six and looks set to fight out the finish after having notched seven wins from his past 13 starts. Suvaljko has driven Back To The Beach in five of those wins, with Miller, engaged this week to take advantage of his concession, having had only one drive behind the four-year-old for an all-the-way victory in the 2180m Wagin Cup four starts ago. “He doesn’t have to lead; he can sit,” said Suvaljko. “However, he has drawn inside of Red Hot Roxy and she will not be able to sit outside Back To The Beach and beat him.” Ken Casellas

Harness racing driver Shannon Suvaljko continues to be a shining light on the track and he is supremely confident that his golden run will be sustained at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he drives Golden State in the $22,000 Power Tools At DTS WA Derby Prelude. Golden State, trained at Henley Brook by Mike Reed, set the pace and finished second to stablemate Bechers Brook in the Battle of Bunbury at Donaldson Park last Saturday night. But Suvaljko is convinced that Golden State will turn the tables on Bechers Brook and move a step closer to winning the WA Derby on April 6. The 49-year-old Suvaljko, who notched his 100th winner for the season when he was successful with Lord Willoughby at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, leads the Statewide drivers’ premiership table with 100 winners, 95 seconds and 63 thirds from 681 starters. He is showing the way from Chris Lewis (89 wins), Gary Hall jun. (89) and Chris Voak (84). The New Zealand-bred Golden State and the Victorian-bred Bechers Brook are owned by Albert Walmsley and look set to be leading contenders in the rich WA Derby.   Suvaljko has driven Bechers Brook in eight of his nine starts and the colt impressed in the Battle of Bunbury when Dylan Egerton-Green had him handily-placed in the one-out, one-back position before he went three wide 250m from home and finished powerfully to hit the front 30m from the post. The final quarters were run in 27.6sec. and 28.2sec. Egerton-Green has retained the drive on Bechers Brook on Friday night. At his previous start, in the Caduceus Club Classic, Suvaljko drove Bechers Brook, who raced without cover early and then in the one-out, one-back position before finishing gamely to be third behind the pacemaker Golden State (Chris Lewis) and Speed Man. Golden State will be a warm favourite on Friday night after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2130m event. Bechers Brook’s prospects slumped when he drew the outside barrier in the field of nine. Suvaljko said that he wasn’t disappointed at Golden State’s loss in the Battle of Bunbury, explaining that the colt overraced. “We changed the cart to a shorter one than normal --- and he smashed a wheel all the way,” he said. “That was his undoing. He wanted to run up the track and hit the wheel all the way. “That was his problem; he fired up and made himself run down the back (with a 27.6sec. quarter) when he didn’t have to. I think that if he hadn’t been hitting the wheel he would have won pretty easily. “I don’t think there’s much between Golden State and Bechers Brook, who is a relaxed horse who has a really high sprint at the end.” Lewis will drive the inexperienced New Zealand-bred gelding Shadow Magic, who is unfavourably drawn at No. 7 on Friday night. But the Barry Howlett-trained three-year-old was most impressive in a low-class R0 event at Bunbury on Saturday night when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before winning by five lengths from Kata Noi Beach. That was his first appearance for nine months. He finished second to Rosies Ideal at his only other start, at Bunbury last June. Shadow Magic will be making his first appearance at Gloucester Park and Howlett is hoping that he will emulate the performances of his half-brothers VC Manoeuvre and El Jacko who were successful at their first outing at Gloucester Park. Gary Hall jun. has chosen to drive Speed Man (trained by Gary Hall sen.) in preference to the Katja Warwick-trained Rock Me Over, who finished determinedly from fifth at the bell to win the Sales Classic for colts and geldings last Friday night, with Hall in the sulky. Aiden de Campo will handle the colt this week. Rock Me Over, a winner at four of his 15 starts, will begin from barrier No. 3, with Speed Man (four wins from nine starts) at No. 4. Bettor B Abeliever, trained by Paula Petricevich, is handily drawn at barrier two and Kyle Harper should have the colt in a prominent position throughout. Bettor B Abeliever set the pace and won easily from Captured Delight and Our Angel of Harlem over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon.   Ken Casellas

Star reinsman Chris Lewis is happy with the progress being made by Rockin The Boys and predicted the harness racing four-year-old mare would be hard to beat in the $18,000 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Rockin The Boys, bred, part-owned and trained by Lewis’ wife Debra, will be having her third start after a spell and is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier on the front line in the 2130m event. The daughter of Rock N Roll Heaven put in a strong performance last Friday night when she raced three wide early in an unsuccessful bid from barrier three to take an early lead in the 1730m event. She then worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 350m from home and being overhauled in the final 15m to finish a half-length second to the fast-finishing Hot Fraternity, who rated 1.56.6. At her first-up appearance a fortnight earlier, Rockin The Boys set the pace from barrier two before wilting to finish sixth behind Gotta Go Gabbana over 2130m. Lewis has put up a strong case for Rockin The Boys this week, saying: “Her first run after a spell was average, but then she worked hard and breezed at her next outing and was a good second. She is a nice horse on the improve. It would be handy to get to the front.” Rockin The Boys, whose 34 starts have produced nine wins, seven seconds and three thirds, meets moderate opposition on Friday night, including six-year-old mare Nothingbutadream, who is trained by Sarah Dacey and will be having her 99th start. Nothingbutadream is awkwardly drawn at barrier six but she put the writing on the wall last Friday night when she was a distinct last at the bell in a field of ten before charging home with a spirited burst to finish third behind Hot Fraternity and Rockin The Boys. She will be driven by Corey Peterson. Jailbreak, Sheez Edgy and Raffaello have been racing in good style and cannot be overlooked. One of the best bets on the ten-event program should be the evergreen nine-year-old Major Catastrophe, who will be driven by Dean Miller from the outside (No. 9) on the front line in the 2536m Milford Homes Pace. Major Catastropohe, trained at Pinjarra by his breeder-owner David Young, is sure to appreciate a considerable drop in class after contesting the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup on Monday afternoon when he was far from disgraced in finishing a game eighth behind star pacers My Hard Copy, Chicago Bull and Our Jimmy Johnstone. Ken Casellas

Hall of Fame harness racing trainer Gary Hall Snr was in grave doubt that New Zealand-bred gelding Chok Chai would be able to race again a couple of years ago after the gelding was laid low by a hairline fracture of a sesamoid. But patience and plenty of rest eventually cured the problem and Chok Chai, now a five-year-old, is showing considerable promise and should get punters off to a flying start at Gloucester Park on Friday night by setting the pace and winning the opening event, the PPC Pace over 2130m. The gelding by Washington VC warmed up for this assignment by scoring an easy all-the-way victory over 2130m, rating 1.57.6 on Tuesday night. This took his record to nine wins and two seconds from only 12 starts. His only unplaced effort was when he met with severe interference and was distanced, finishing 246 metres behind the winner Te Rauparaha at Pinjarra in May of last year. “He’s had a lot of problems, mainly the fracture to his sesamoid, and I felt that he would be unable to overcome his injuries,” Hall said. “All’s well now and from barrier one on Friday night he should lead and win. He’s a strong horse and it will take a good horse to beat him.” Reinsman Gary Hall Jnr agreed, saying: “He felt good tonight (Tuesday). He’s a big horse who should get better and better, hopefully.” Chok Chai is likely to be challenged strongly by in-form pacers in the Ross Olivieri-trained pair of Military Master and Lord Willoughby and Skye Bond’s smart four-year-old Mighty Mr Sharkey. Chris Lewis, who will drive Military Master from barrier No. 7 in a field of eight, praised the six-year-old’s outstanding first-up performance when he led from barrier four and sped over the final 400m in a sizzling 26.9sec. to win by six lengths from Real Zeal over 2100m at a 1.57.6 rate at Bunbury last Saturday week. That was a wonderful effort at his first outing for six months and Lewis said: “He won really well. Obviously, it’s a worse draw this week, but he’s still in the mix of things from the wide draw. He’s going well enough to give a forward showing.”        That performance improved Military Master’s record to 11 wins, nine seconds and two thirds from 38 starts. Shannon Suvaljko, who will drive Lord Willoughby from barrier three, declared that the four-year-old was flying and predicted the gelding would be prominent. This season Lord Willoughby has raced ten times for four wins, five seconds and one third. The Skye Bond-trained Mighty Mr Sharkey will start from the outside (No. 8) with Ryan Warwick in the sulky. The four-year-old has had 29 starts for ten wins and nine placings. He had a tough run in the breeze before winning in fine style over 2130m at Gloucester Park two starts ago. Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr was impressed with Rock Me Over’s fast-finishing third to Speed Man and Golden State at Gloucester Park last Friday night and he is confident the smart colt will break through for his first success as a three-year-old when he contests the $25,000 Milford Homes Roofline Series Sales Classic for harness racing  colts and geldings on Friday night. Rock Me Over by Rock N Roll Heaven, prepared at Byford by Katja Warwick, has finished third in four of his five starts this season and looks on target to prove hard to beat this week, particularly from his handy draw at No. 3 on the front line. Hall drove Speed Man for his win last Friday night and said: “I was impressed with the way Rock Me Over came home (from last at the bell in a field of seven). He’s got a few strings to his bow and he just needs to put them all together.” Hall drove Rock Me Over in all of his nine starts as a two-year-old for three wins, three seconds and a third. He was prominent in feature events, finishing a half-head second to Play The Boys in the Sales Classic, second to the brilliant Jack Mac in the Pearl Classic and third to Cott Beach and Miss Sangrial in the Champagne Classic. “I had big wraps on him, early on,” said Hall. “But he hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations at this stage. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him turn the corner at any stage. “He’s a funny horse; sat up, he’s quick, but once you make your run with him you’ve got to keep going because he’s a little bull and if you stop-start with him he’ll just pull up. We’ll have a crack for the front, but if he can’t get to the lead he should sit somewhere handy.” One of Rock Me Over’s most serious rivals is sure to be the Bryan Cousins-trained Kohli, who is favourably drawn at the No. 2 barrier. A fast-finishing winner over Ella Gant Player at Pinjarra five starts ago, Kohli’s recent form on South-West tracks has been quite sound. Chris Voak, who will drive Kohli, said: “Take Rock Me Over out, and I’d give Kohli a really solid chance of winning. When I drove him at Pinjarra a couple of starts ago we went only slowly, but he sprinted home very well.” Harry Haich, a last-start all-the-way winner at Northam for part-owner and trainer Vicki Lea, has claims. He is the solitary runner on the back line and Shannon Suvaljko will have plenty of options. Ooshta and Nuclear Poker are recent Pinjarra winners and will have admirers from unfavourable barriers. Chris Voak has declared the Annie Belton-trained Lady De La Renta a ‘good thing’ in the Total Home Frames Sales Classic for three-year-old fillies, a 2130m event in which she will start from the No. 5 barrier. “I tracked her this morning (Tuesday) and said to Annie that the only draws I didn’t want were one and ten. I said she would win from any other draw. I think that only bad luck will get her beaten. I think she is a standout on the card. “Ideally, I’d like to be in front. She’s got toughness and speed, and is the full package. The only plan I’ve got is to keep out of trouble. Her ability will get the rest done.” Lady De la Renta’s recent form is outstanding and she looks the winner from last-start winners Princess Major and Somersby. Ken Casellas

Better B Chevron has a remarkable record as a frontrunner. She boasts a perfect tally of her nine harness racing victories in Western Australia all being achieved when she has set the pace. And she has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the $50,000 Perth Plasterboard Centre Empress Stakes at Gloucester Park on Friday night, leaving reinsman Ryan Warwick with the task of giving the New Zealand-bred four-year-old the job of leading all the way in the group 2 2536m classic for mares. Trained at Forrestdale by Skye Bond, who races Better B Chevron in partnership with Rob and Anne Gartrell, the daughter of Bettors Delight has won at 12 of her past 20 starts. A winner at three of her seven starts in New Zealand, Better B Chevron arrived in Australia 11 months ago and has raced 14 times in WA for nine wins and three placings. She was not suited at her most recent outing when she started from the outside of the back line and settled in eighth position before moving to seventh (three wide) at the bell in the Lewis final last Friday week. She paced roughly for a while 600m from home before recovering and fighting on gamely to finish fourth, just over a length behind the winner, the pacemaking Madame Meilland. An important query about Better B Chevron’s ability to win on Friday night is the fact that she has raced only once in an event longer than 2240m. That was in the 2536m WA Oaks last May when she raced wide early and then in the breeze before gaining an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, and battling on into a well-beaten fifth placing behind Maczaffair. Better B Chevron is an M1-class performer and is sure to be tested by the two quality mares in the field, Major Reality (an M7-class mare who will start from barrier six on the front line) and Sheer Rocknroll (an M5-class mare who will start from barrier No. 7).  Better B Chevron is a half-brother to 2011 Easter Cup winner Anvils Big Punt and the highly-promising three-year-old Speed Man, who notched his fourth win from eight starts when he finished powerfully to beat Golden State last Friday night. Warwick was successful with the Grant Williams-trained Asian Paradise in the 2005 Empress Stakes and he was in the sulky when Jungle Jewel, prepared by Greg and Skye Bond, finished solidly to be second to The Parade in last season’s Empress Stakes. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice is aiming to win Friday night’s classic for the third year in a row --- after Brayden Green drove Major Reality (7/1) from the No. 1 barrier to an all-the-way victory over Tricky Styx and Quite A Delight (also trained by Prentice) in 2016 and when Gary Hall Jnr brought 7/1 chance The Parade home with a strong burst from sixth at the bell to beat Jungle Jewel. Prentice drove Major Reality, the 5/1 on favourite from barrier 1 in last year’s Empress Stakes when the mare raced without cover and wilted to finish sixth. Prentice was suspended for 18 days for causing interference in an event for trotters at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon and he has engaged Hall to drive Major Reality, who will be making her first appearance for 91 days. Major Reality last raced when she was a fading eighth behind Ideal Alice in the $125,000 Mares Classic on December 8. Hall is looking forward to driving Major Reality and keeping his 100 per cent record with the mare. He has happy memories of winning the 2015 WA Oaks with Major Reality, who beat stablemate Quite A Delight by a half-head. His only other drive behind Major Reality was at Bunbury in June 2015 when she dead-heated for first with Baileys Gold. “She is a quality mare and should prove hard to beat,” said Hall, who won the Empress Stakes for the first time when Aussie Made Lombo was successful at her final start, beating Live High and Famous Alchemist in 2013. Champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who has won the Empress Stakes a record eight times with Candy Nacray (1988), Armbro Lucy (1992), Meggie Dear (2001), Classical Mover (2002), Shes Royalty (2007), Ima Spicey Lombo (2011) and Sensational Gabby (2014 and 2015) had the choice of four drives in this year’s classic. He has given punters a strong lead by choosing to drive the Ross Olivieri-trained Sheer Rocknroll ahead of stablemate Madame Meilland, Bettor Be Supreme and Sea Me Smile. “Sheer Rocknroll has got a bit of class,” said Lewis, who was impressed when Dean Miller drove the five-year-old first-up for nine weeks when she had a tough run, three wide and then in the breeze before finishing a close second to Dana Duke over 2130m last Friday week. “It’s always hard first-up,” Lewis said. Sheer Rocknroll warmed up for Friday night’s race with a stylish victory in a 2185m trial at Pinjarra on Sunday morning. She was untroubled to dash over the final quarters in 28.5sec. and 28.2sec., with reinsman Tommy Sheehy saying that it was a delight to handle such a quality pacer. “Acting on instructions I didn’t let her go until the final 400m and she certainly sprinted most impressively,” Sheehy said. Lewis drove Madame Meilland at her most recent outing when she set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and held on to win from Gotta Go Gabbana over 2130m last Friday week. Olivieri has engaged Shannon Suvaljko to handle the mare, who is favourably drawn at No. 2 on the front line on Friday night. Busselton trainer Barry Howlett has engaged Morgan Woodley to drive Bettor Be Supreme, who faces a stern test from the No. 8 barrier. Lewis was in the sulky when Bettor Be Supreme raced three wide early and then in the breeze before finishing a good third behind Chok Chai over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. Chris Voak, who will drive Gotta Go Gabbana for Banjup trainer Annie Belton, said that he had no doubt that the lightly-raced four-year-old was capable of matching strides for the better-performed mares in the race. “However, from barrier five she is most likely to have to do things tough in the breeze again, he said. “She is improving all the time and you can certainly make a case for her.” Ken Casellas

Shannon Suvaljko is setting a cracking pace in the Western Australian Statewide drivers’ premiership and he is bursting with confidence that he will cause an upset by winning the $100,000 Clipsal By Schneider Electric Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will drive Soho Interceptor from the awkward draw at No. 6 on the front line in the Group 1 feature event over 1730m. The Art Major filly, bred and owned by Rob Watson and prepared at Hopeland by Glenn Elliott, caught the eye in a qualifying heat at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when she enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing fast to be second to Cap In Hand, with the final quarter being run in 27.8sec. Cap In Hand, trained by Katja Warwick and driven by Gary Hall Jnr, has not been extended in winning at her only two starts, at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park, and she is likely to vie for favouritism with the Justin Prentice-trained Has No Fear, who has scored brilliant victories at Pinjarra and Gloucester Park at her past two outings. Suvaljko, who leads the drivers’ premiership at the half-way mark of the 2017-18 season with 92 winners from Chris Lewis (83) and Hall (82), declared that Soho Interceptor was capable of a bold showing on Friday night. “She has huge gate speed and so we will come out and have a look (for the early lead),” he said. “I think that she is definitely the one to beat. Cap In Hand and Has No Fear haven’t drawn all that well.” Soho Interceptor finished fifth behind Bettor Captured at her debut, at Pinjarra on January 29 when she shied at an object on the track and broke into a gallop. A month later she finished an impressive second-up second to Cap In Hand on Tuesday of last week. “I sat back with her in the heat and she flew home,” Suvaljko said. “I think she is my best drive on the night.” Soho Interceptor is bred on royal lines. Her dam Aussie Made Lombo amassed $578,456 in prizemoney from 22 wins and 26 placings from 62 starts. She won two Group 1 Classics as a two-year-old in 2010, the Bathurst Gold Tiara and Seymour Nursery at Albion Park. Her final race before going to the breeding barn was at Gloucester Park in March 2013 when she won the Group 2 Empress Stakes. Aussie Made Lombo’s dam Tailamade Lombo earned $1,354,978 from 49 wins and 25 placings from 110 starts. She won seven races as a two-year-old, was successful in the Group 1 Australian Oaks at Moonee Valley in 1998 and won the Group 1 Queensland Pacing Championship in October 2000, beating Courage Under Fire. Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice has high hopes with both Delightfull and Has No Fear. He will handle Delightful from barrier three on the front line and Tom Buchanan will drive Has No Fear, the solitary runner on the back line. “Delightfull hit the line really good in her heat (when she raced three back on the pegs and ran home strongly, three wide, to be third behind Cap In Hand and Soho Interceptor),” Prentice said. “She is improving with every run and I think she will be a better horse up on the speed, so we’ll come out and have a look for the lead. “Has No Fear showed her versatility in her heat when she came home, out three deep, to win by four lengths.” Has No Fear, purchased at the APG yearling sale in Perth 12 months ago for $20,000, revealed excellent gate speed when she led and won easily at Pinjarra at her previous outing. “Barrier ten is not a bad draw and Tom will have to see what happens early and then weigh things up from there,” Prentice said. Cap In Hand has been untroubled to set the pace and win at her two starts and Hall Jnr is not particularly concerned at her unfavourable draw at No. 7. “If we had drawn to lead she would have been awfully hard to beat,” Hall said. “But she is still going to be hard to beat, even from No. 7. I don’t think it is a major concern (not leading). The first trial in which I drove her, she was back in the field and they ran super quick time and she finished pretty well.” La Roue de Lamour, a $57,000 yearling and trained by Annie Belton, is capable of figuring in the finish after drawing the No. 2 barrier. She made a good debut in a qualifying heat when she raced in fifth place, three back on the pegs, before finishing solidly on the inside to be third behind Has No Fear and Soho Westeros. She will be driven by Chris Voak. Ken Casellas

See what top Western Australian reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has to say about his best drives on harness racing Sales Classic Night. Watch the interview below.   28 February 2018 | GPTV | Ken Casellas

Young harness racing reinsman Stuart McDonald is hoping that history repeats itself and that he will cause an upset by driving an eight-year-old to victory in the $50,000 Governor’s Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. McDonald drove the Ross Olivieri eight-year-old Chief Thundercloud (13/4) to an all-the-way victory in the 2016 Governor’s Cup and on Friday night he will be in the sulky behind eight-year-old Ohoka Punter. Chief Thundercloud beat Dredlock Rockstar and the 6/4 favourite Cyamach, trained by Gary Hall Snr. Hall prepares champion Chicago Bull and Ohoka Punter and he considers that Ohoka Punter, from his favourable barrier of No. 3, is capable of running a bold race in front, with some chance of beating Chicago Bull, who will start a long odds-on fancy. Chicago Bull will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr and will start from barrier five. Last Friday night, Ohoka Punter, a 24/1 chance, race in fifth position, three back on the pegs, before finishing determinedly to be second, four lengths behind Chicago Bull in the RWWA Cup. Chicago Bull faced wide early before taking the lead after 650m. After moderate opening quarters of the final mile of 30.1sec. and 30.2sec., Chicago Bull sped over the final sections in 27.6sec. and 27.5sec. The Kyle Harper-trained and driven Bettors Fire will start from barrier four, in between Ohoka Punter and Chicago Bull. Bettors Fire is noted for his brilliant gate speed, but Hall Snr is confident Ohoka Punter has the necessary gate speed to burst to an early lead and withstand a possible challenge from Bettors Fire. “Ohoka Punter is as quick out as Bettors Fire and over 2130m we will try to lead with him,” Hall said. “He is racing in top form and will be hard to beat. He has been crying out to lead in a race and I think he will go well.” The Skye Bond-trained Our Jimmy Johnstone, a close second to Bettors Fire over 2130m last Friday week, will start from barrier six and will need all the breaks to win the Governor’s Cup for the second year in succession. Our Jimmy Johnstone also started from the No. 6 barrier in last year’s Cup when he set the pace and won by two lengths from outsider Red Salute. Ken Casellas

Detroit Lilly, the least experienced runner in the 8 On The Point Chinese Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night, arrived in Western Australia from New Zealand a month ago and has the ability to fight out the finish at her Australian harness racing debut with several well-performed three-year-old fillies, including Cott Beach, Slick Artist, Lady De La Renta and Infinite Symbol. Prepared at Forrestdale by Skye Bond, Detroit Lily is awkwardly drawn at No. 5 on the front line but she possesses sparkling gate speed and Ryan Warwick should be able to settle her in a forward position. Warwick drove Detroit Lily in a 2150m Byford trial three Sundays ago when she began smartly from barrier six in a field of eight and mustered plenty of speed to dash to the front after 250m before setting the pace and winning convincingly by a neck from Allwood Peacemaker at a 1.59.2 rate. She had only two starts in New Zealand, winning on debut at Wyndham on November 19 last year and finishing second at Invercargill on December 9. At Wyndham, Detroit Lily began from barrier five in a field of 14 and surged to the front after 300m. She set the pace and won, unextended, in a time of 1.55.4 over 1609m. At Invercargill she started from the back line and quickly moved to the one-out, one-back position before racing without cover for much of the final circuit when second to Nota Bene Denario (beaten by five lengths) in a field of 11. Detroit Lily, by Betterthancheddar, is the eighth foal out of Abercrombie mare Acropolis. She is a half-sister to former smart mare Yankee Dream, who earned $277,214 from 15 wins and 18 placings from 56 starts.       As a two-year-old in May 2009 Yankee Dream won a $156,000 Group 1 fillies championship at Alexandra Park. Three years later she won four races in Victoria and she had her final three starts at Gloucester Park in November-December 2012. She was unplaced in her three WA appearances, with her best effort her sixth behind Baby Bling in the Group 1 Mares Classic. Cott Beach, prepared by Coolup trainer Kristy Elson, has won ten times from 18 starts for earnings of $185,117 and she is sure to prove hard to beat, even with the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line. Nathan Turvey is expected to use her dazzling gate speed in a bid for the early lead. Cott Beach began brilliantly from barrier nine in the Group 2 Daintys Daughter Classic last Friday week when she set a brisk pace before wilting to finish third behind Slick Artist and Infinite Symbol. Slick Artist, who finished strongly after enjoying a perfect trail three back on the pegs, gave a splendid frontrunning display to win easily over 2185m at Pinjarra on Monday. She is drawn out wide at barrier eight, but trainer Gary Hall Snr declared that she is getting better with every run. “She ran home in 27.1sec. in a weak field on Monday and must be considered,” Hall said. In-form reinsman Chris Voak said that Lady De La Renta had sound winning prospects, even from the outside of the back line. “She is very talented and I rate her right up there with the best of them here,” he said. “I think the draw will suit and I’d say she is one of the main chances.” Lady De La Renta, trained by Annie Belton, had a very hard run before finishing at the rear in the Daintys Daughter Classic. But she was most impressive at her previous outing when she worked hard in the breeze and won from smart colts Bechers Brook and Speed Man. Ken Casellas

Former star juvenile pacer Itsallabout Nicole will take the first steps on a comeback trail when he contests the opening harness racing event, the Gong XI Fa Cai Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ace reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, fresh from four winners at Pinjarra on Monday and a treble at Gloucester Park on Tuesday, will drive the 11-year-old who will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line of the 2130m event.   Herne Hill trainer Kevin Keys, who bred and owns Itsallabout Nicole with Ron Gaunt, said that the Courage Under Fire gelding broke down in a race at Northam in February 2015 with tendon and suspensory ligament damage before failing in a comeback attempt at Bunbury in June 2015. So, it is now 32 and a half months since Itsallabout Nicole raced, and recent trial performances have been encouraging and have indicated the gelding is capable of a strong first-up showing. After finishing fourth in a trial at Pinjarra on January 28, Itsallabout Nicole ran two sound trials at Byford on the first two Sundays in February. Driven by Hall, he raced three back on the pegs and finished a well-beaten third behind Tricky Styx (1.57.9) in a field of five, with final quarters in 28.3sec. and 28.8sec. Then, the following Sunday, with Deni Roberts in the sulky, Itsallabout Nicole sat behind the pacemaker Rowan Skipper and took the lead 30m from home before finishing a head second to the fast-finishing Princess Major (1.59.6), with final quarters of 29.1sec. and 28.9sec. “He travelled well in his latest trial and Deni did not knock him around,” Keys said. “He’s got a chance to finish in the top four on Friday night.” Keys said that he gave Itsallabout Nicole (named after Gaunt’s stepdaughter Nicole) plenty of time to recover from his injuries during two years out in a paddock. “Late last year he was looking well and vet students who come to my place were riding him,” Keys said. “So, I decided to give him a chance at a comeback, and I’m very happy with him.” Itsallabout Nicole was an outstanding two-year-old, winning the Western Crown Classic and the Group 1 Pearl Classic in April and June 2009. He has raced 58 times for 12 wins, 17 placings and $174,471 in prizemoney.    Keys and Gaunt bred the gelding, who is out of Victorian-bred mare Snookanite, who was driven by Keys in all her nine starts for two thirds (at Gloucester Park and Northam), before Keys retired her to the breeding barn. That was a wise decision. Snookanite produced Cassie Rox, who earned $152,492 from her 17 wins and 21 placings from 85 starts for Keys and Gaunt. Keys and Gaunt also bred and race Kristian Robert, a four-year-old out of Cassie Rox, who has won once and been placed seven times from 26 starts. Kristian Robert was a 60/1 outsider at Gloucester Park on Tuesday evening when he raced behind the pacemaker The Marble Ridge and finished third behind Red October. Kristian Robert will start from barrier four and has sound each-way prospects in the China Town Comes to Gloucester Park Pace on Friday night. “Ryan Warwick will drive him and he will go nicely,” said Keys. Ken Casellas

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis is upbeat about his prospects of winning the $25,000 Lewis Mares Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, a feature event named in his honour to acknowledge his remarkable career in harness racing. Lewis will drive the Ross Olivieri-trained four-year-old who has drawn perfectly at barrier one on the front line in the 2130m mobile event. “This is probably the best chance I’ve had to win this race,” Lewis said. “Madame Meilland is definitely going extremely well and this is the best draw she’s had. The plan will be to lead and it will be quite a thrill to win. Her run at Northam last Saturday night was an excellent effort when the last lap was covered in very good time.” Madame Meilland began speedily from the No. 4 barrier at Northam and raced without cover before finishing strongly to be a close second to Vampiro, with the final 800m whizzing by in 55.7sec. This followed solid efforts with third placings behind Better B Chevron at Northam and Mon Lillies at Gloucester Park. The New South Wales-bred Madame Meilland has excelled under Olivieri’s care in Western Australia, with her 12 starts producing five wins and six placings to improve her career record to 33 starts for eight wins, eight seconds and five thirds. “She’s quick out and is certainly going to be the testing material,” said a confident Olivieri. Madame Meilland is the first foal lout of New Zealand-bred mare The Peace Rose, who earned $79,920 from nine wins and 18 placings from 66 starts. The three other four-year-old mares in Friday night’s race loom as the main rivals for Madame Meilland. They are Gotta Go Gabbana and stablemates Better B Chevron and Covered N Diamonds. Gotta Go Gabbana, to be driven by Chris Voak for Banjup trainer Annie Belton, will have many admirers. A winner at each of her past three starts, all over 2130m at Gloucester Park, Gotta Go Gabbana will start from barrier four on the front line and looks certain to go forward at the start before racing on the outside of Madame Meilland, the likely pacemaker. “She shouldn’t miss the first three,” declared Voak, who added that the mare had improved her manners immensely in recent weeks. Skye Bond trains Better B Chevron and Covered N Diamonds, New Zealand-bred mares who are racing with admirable enthusiasm. They will start from the back line, with Ryan Warwick opting to drive Better B Chevron and Colin Brown being engaged to handle Covered N Diamonds. Better B Chevron had a tough run in the breeze when a fighting second, beaten a head by Mon Lillies over 2130m last Friday week. That followed wins at Albany and Northam, and she now has raced 22 times for 12 wins, seven placings and stakes of $103,983. Covered N Diamonds has won at six of her 17 starts and should enjoy a soft passage from barrier two on the back line. Cardup trainer Sarah Suvaljko will be represented by Auctioneers Elsu (Jocelyn Young), Its My Lucknow (Dylan Egerton-Green) and Sea Cider (Michael Grantham). They have a combined total of 542 starts for 43 wins, 117 placings and $405,988 in prizemoney. All three will be at handsome odds on Friday night. The prospects of speedy frontrunners Mon Lillies and Tajies Girl slumped considerably when they drew the two outside barriers on the front line. Ken Casellas

Notching his twelfth victory in a group feature event should be just a formality for harness racing superstar Chicago Bull when he contests the $50,000 Group 2 RWWA Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He will start from barrier six on the front line and should prove the master of his nine rivals as he seeks his 29th win from 48 starts. He has won four Group 1 events and seven Group 2 races and has already amassed $1,404,479 in prizemoney. After Chicago Bull coasted to an effortless win at a 1.56.3 rate over 2536m in the Group 2 Lord Mayor’s Cup last Friday week, champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr described the performance as “like a trial; he did it that easily.” Describing the gelding’s small stature and insignificant looks, Hall said: “when you look at him, he’s the last one you would pick out of a stable. It just goes to show you what’s on the inside, not what’s on the outside.” Leading trainer Gary Hall Snr said “Bettors Fire and Argyle Red are racing well, but you would think that Chicago Bull will be winning. He will go forward and will probably get to the breeze outside Argyle Red, and then Junior will make up his mind what to do from there. “I was going to spell him a week or two ago, but now I plan to race him for the next month. I have picked out the $50,000 Four and Five-Year-0ld Championship on March 16 as his final run before going for a spell.” Hall said that he expected his other runner Ohoka Punter would enjoy being the only runner on the back line. “He’s probably the equal second best in the race and I’d say that he and Bettors Fire will fight it out for second place.” The Kyle Harper-trained and driven Bettors Fire notched his 34th win last Friday night when he gave a strong frontrunning display from the No. 1 barrier to win over 2130m from Our Jimmy Johnstone and Cut For An Ace. A week earlier, he ran on from sixth at the bell to be fourth behind Chicago Bull. Argyle Red, trained at Pinjarra by Rob MacDonald and driven by Morgan Woodley, has excellent place prospects. He should be the early leader from the No. 1 barrier and is likely to take the sit behind Chicago Bull as the race unfolds. Ken Casellas

Promising harness racing six-year-old Hot Fraternity has finished second from unfavourable barriers at his past three outings and will have to contend with the outside barrier (No. 9) in the 1730m TABtouch, The Brand That Funds The Industry Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. His young reinsman Bailey McDonough is quietly confident that Hot Fraternity, prepared by his grandfather, Bunbury trainer Frank Bonnett, has the ability to overcome the awkward and challenging draw. “He’s going really good when bad draws haven’t helped him,” he said. “He’s got another bad draw on Friday night, but it is a weaker field than the ones he has been racing in and he gets his chance to break through for a win. “I like him over the short 1730m trip. In the sprint races he travels well in running and seems to finish off a lot stronger on the bit. On Friday night he should land close enough to them (after the start) in the field of ten. Hopefully, he can make a move or track another horse up (as the race develops). “He was really good when second to Wesley at Bunbury last Saturday night.” In the Bunbury race over 2100m, Hot Fraternity started from barrier six and was restrained to the rear. He raced in eighth position until McDonough switched him three wide with a lap to travel. He sustained his three-wide effort to move to second at the 250m mark before fighting on grimly to be second to Wesley, with the final 400m being covered in 27.5sec. He started out wide at barrier nine at his previous outing, over 2536m at Gloucester Park and he impressed in sustaining a strong burst, out wide, and finishing second to Greenngold, with final sections of 28.7sec. and 29.1sec. He led from barrier five when beaten in the final stride by the fast-finishing Messi a week before that. McDonough, one of the State’s up-and-coming drivers, will handle outsiders from the Tony Svilicich stable in Looks Promising (race one) and Shardons Rocket (RWWA Cup) before driving the Bonnett-trained Estilo in the final event, the Chinese New Year Fireworks Night Pace over 2536m. Estilo has been unplaced at his past nine starts since McDonough drove him to victory over 2100m at Bunbury early last November. “Dean Miller drove Estilo when sixth behind Wesley at Bunbury on Saturday night and he said that he got home really well,” McDonough said. “I think he can hold up early and then I’ll assess my options from there. He’s definitely a top-four chance.” Ken Casellas

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