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Harness racing trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Lewis have been a powerful and highly successful combination for 30 years and they will join forces at Gloucester Park on Friday night when they attempt to win three consecutive events with talented New Zealand-bred pacers Itz Bettor To Win, Motu Premier and Im Full of Excuses. These three pacers are raced by leviathan owner Merv Butterworth, who is hoping the trio will qualify for the rich TABtouch Inter Dominion championship series, starting on November 24. Butterworth makes no secret that he considers five-year-old Motu Premier a superior pacer to Im Full of Excuses and Itz Bettor To Win. Sharing his opinion is Lewis, who said: “Motu Premier is a nice horse who goes good. And now he’s got to step up to the next level if he’s going to be an Inter Dominion contender.” Motu Premier, whose six starts in Western Australia have resulted in five wins and a close second placing, will be making his first appearance for nine weeks when he starts from the No. 3 barrier on the front line in the $22,000 Simpson Pace over 2130m on Friday night. Motu Premier is a strong and dour gelding who has won many races after working hard in the breeze and he is likely to have to endure a tough run again on Friday night when his chief rival looms large as the Olivieri-trained El Hombre. El Hombre will start from the No. 1 barrier and Chris Voak said he would be keen to set the pace. “He produced a powerful effort when he raced without cover before winning from Soho Chelsea and Mach Time last week,” he said. “He should go even better by leading this week and I give him a good chance of beating Motu Premier.” Lewis appreciates that El Hombre will be a worthy opponent on Friday night, saying: “That was one of his best runs and this will be a challenge for Motu Premier. However, all things being equal, I’d say Motu Premier is a better horse.”   Adding considerable interest to Friday night’s race will be the reappearance of Natural Disaster, an up-and-coming five-year-old who will be driven by his trainer Justin Prentice. Natural Disaster, who impressed in winning at eight of his 13 starts last season, will be having his first start for ten weeks. He faces a stern test from the outside (No. 9) on the front line. Motu Premier is at No. 21 in the second list of ranking for the Inter Dominion championship series. Stablemate Jambiani is ranked No. 22, with Im Full of Excuses at No. 25, El Hombre at No. 58 and Itz Bettor To Win at No. 70. Itz Bettor To Win will start out wide at barrier eight in the Celebrating Melissa Renouf Pace on Friday night and Lewis expects him to perform strongly at his second start in Western Australia. The six-year-old gelding was favourite at 6/4 when he dashed to the front from barrier three after 200m and set a brisk pace before wilting slightly in the closing stages to finish fourth behind Soho Tribeca, Bronze Seeker and Ideal Tyson. “I think he ran pretty well,” Lewis said. “He obviously needed the run and even though he’s not well drawn this week, he will be one of the main players in the race.” Im Full of Excuses will start from barrier four in the $25,000 Fred Doy Memorial Pace on Friday night in which he will clash with in-form pacers Simply Susational, Ideal Tyson and Cut For An Ace, as well as outstanding mare Major Reality, who will be having her first start since winning the Golden Girls Classic at Pinjarra on March 27. Im Full of Excuses will be having his second start after a spell. He resumed last Friday week when he started out wide at barrier nine and was restrained to the rear before dashing forward to race in the breeze outside the pacemaker Sheer Rocknroll before wilting to fifth behind Simply Susational. “I was happy with his first-up effort and I think he should step up and run a pretty good race this week,” Lewis said. Ken Casellas

Considerable interest will surround the first appearance in Western Australia of the Ross Olivieri trained New Zealand-bred trotter Blue Sky Commander (Skyvalley) when he contests the Pat Harding Handicap, a stand over 2503m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. The six-year-old’s past seven starts, all in Victoria, have been in mobiles after the gelding was placed outside the draw in stands following his sixth as the 9/4 favourite in the Trotters Cup at St Arnaud in March when he broke soon after the start. However, Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has had no hesitation in running Blue Sky Commander in a stand at his WA debut. The gelding is an experienced standing-start performer, with his three wins from 11 starts in New Zealand all being in stands and then his eight wins in Victoria included five in stands. Blue Sky Commander will be driven by Chris Lewis and will start from the outside of the 10m line. “He continues to please us and we’re confident he’ll go really well,” said Olivieri. “And whatever he does, he’ll improve on.” Blue Sky Commander’s chief rival looms as Lightning Calder, the solitary runner off the 20m back mark. Lightning Calder, to be driven by Chris Voak for Wundowie trainer Bruce Stanley, worked hard in the breeze when a fighting last-start third behind Lord Liam and Ropeburn at Gloucester Park. Olivieri is also optimistic about the prospects of Assassinator in the Wayne Currall Pace, a 1730m mobile event in which Assassinator will start from the No. 4 barrier with Chris Voak in the sulky. “He’s got a tricky draw, but he’s a good chance,” Olivieri said. “Punters should ignore his run when he finished tenth behind Heez On Fire last Friday night. He started off in the one-out, one-back position before being shuffled back to second last. He went to the line hard held.” Ken Casellas

Eight-time premier trainer Ross Olivieri is full of confidence that Im Full of Excuses (Jeremes Jet) will make a successful return to harness racing by winning the $25,000 Media Guild Cup over 2536m at Gloucester Park on tomorrow night. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old has excellent prospects of notching his sixth Cup race in the space of 12 months after winning the Group 3 Kalgoorlie, York, Northam and Harvey Cups and the Group 2 Pinjarra Cup last season. “He will go very, very well first-up,” said Olivieri. “The outside barrier (No. 9) is not ideal, but he can overcome that. This is a good race for him to start his campaign leading up to the TABtouch Inter Dominion championship in a couple of months. “He’s had three trials, winning the first easily from Sheer Rocknroll at Byford before we were disappointed with his next trial a week later at Pinjarra when he raced in the breeze and finished second to Sheer Rocknroll. “We worked out that he didn’t derive a lot of benefit from his first trial, so we put a fair bit of work into him and waited a fortnight before trialling him again at Pinjarra, and he went real good (winning by 40m from She Could Be Good, rating 1.57.3 over 2185m after a final 800m in 55.2sec.).” Im Full of Excuses will again be driven by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who has won the Media Guild Cup four times --- with Village Kid in 1987 and 1991, Paly in 2002 and Has The Answers in 2010. Olivieri has yet to win a Media Guild Cup (which was first run in 1979). The closest Olivieri has been to winning a Media Guild Cup has been with seconds to Franco Amon in 2008 and Gary Bromac in 2010. Im Full of Excuses has not raced since he finished a close second to Vultan Tin in the 2662m Narrogin Cup on April 8 after racing three wide in the middle stages and then in the breeze. Olivieri has a good second string in Friday night’s Cup in Sheer Rocknroll, who will be driven by Chris Voak from the No. 1 barrier. A winner at 22 of her 54 starts, she has been unplaced at her past five outings. Olivieri predicts a forward showing from the five-year-old mare, saying: “She was nearly going to win last Friday week when Shannon (Suvaljko) had to take evasive action approaching the home turn.” The other mares in the Cup, Ideal Alice (barrier two) and Tricky Styx (three) will have plenty of support from their favourable draws. Ideal Alice, trained by Gary Hall Snr, maintained her excellent form when she set the pace and was beaten by a half-head by Condrieu over 2536m last Friday week. The Jesse Moore-trained Tricky Styx resumed racing after a short spell four Fridays ago when she enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, when a sound fourth behind Run Oneover.  Ken Casellas

Young harness racing reinsman Stuart McDonald caused a boilover when he drove long shot Jambiani to win tonight’s $35,000 August Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park. Jambiani, starting at $96.10, finished strongly from fifth near the bell and scored by 6.5m from Ideal Alice ($12.60). The $1.60 favourite Run Oneover ran third, almost 10m behind Jambiani, after setting a fast pace. Jambiani’s trainer Ross Olivieri said the win was an unexpected bonus. He praised skill shown by McDonald when he guided the gelding across from gate 11 and slotted into a prominent position. “I thought he was a place chance,” Olivieri said. “He faced a tough task, starting from the back line. His owners are jumping for joy.” Six-year-old Jambiani notched seven Victorian wins before he arrived in WA last year. The August Cup triumph gave the bay his sixth Gloucester Park victory Jambiani won at $11.40 last month, but most punters overlooked him after he drew unfavourable tonight. Run Oneover attempted an all-the-way win from gate one and was travelling smoothly at the 1400m, with Jambiani coasting in fourth position. McDonald drove patiently and had Jambiani fifth at the bell when rivals were launching forward moves. Jambiani edged to third at the 300m, as Run Oneover began to signs of being under pressure. McDonald swooped with Jambiani in the home straight when Ideal Alice was getting the upperhand from Run Oneover. Gary Hall, who trains Ideal Alice and Run Oneover, had been aiming for his seventh August Cup win. Trainer Skye Bond got off the new phase of her career off to an impressive start by landing a quinella in the Westral 3YO Pace (2130m). The Bond-trained Vampiro, a $3.40 favourite, scored by 1.8m from stablemate Mighty Mr Sharkey ($44.90). Skye Bond was training in partnership with her husband Greg. But she was licensed this week to go solo. Greg Bond was disqualified recently for giving false information to stewards and behaving in a manner which was detrimental to the harness racing industry. Sightseeing Anvil ($6.20) won the Retravision Pace (2130m) for trainer Callan Suvaljko and reinsman Bailey McDonough. Tanaka Eagle ($14.30) recorded a front running win and Americanbootscoota was successful as a $1.90 favourite. Cut For An Ace won at $4 before Rabchenko recorded an upset victory at $21.50. By Ernie Manning

Speedy pacer Franco Rayner will resume after a three-month absence when he will start from the outside of the front line (No. 9) in the 2130m $23,000 Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. But Banjup trainer-reinsman Colin Brown said that he is not intending to use the four-year-old’s blistering gate speed and that he would be driving the gelding conservatively. “I’m thinking that he is forward enough to be competitive, but we won’t be hurling out of the gate,” Brown said. “We know that he’s got very high gate speed, but I just don’t think he’s fit enough at this stage of his preparation to use that and still run a race at the end. “He is essentially a beach horse, and with the recent wintry weather we haven’t been able to work him how we would like. He’s had a lot of work, but I really don’t know where he’s at.” Two starts ago, on May 12, Franco Rayner started from the No. 9 barrier and revealed dazzling speed to charge straight to the front before setting a fast pace and winning easily from Naughty Maravu at a 1.55.8 rate over 1730m. Though most of his 16 wins from 45 starts have been when he has set the pace, Franco Rayner is also capable of unwinding a spirited finishing burst. The Justin Prentice-trained Natural Disaster is in top form and will have an army of supporters. He will start from the No. 7 barrier and should be prominent throughout in his bid to win for the ninth time from only 14 starts this season. In a strong field, Sprinter, Our Jericho, Vultan Tin, Mach Time and Harry Hoo will all have many admirers. Perhaps the main opposition to Natural Disaster will come from Sprinter and Our Jericho. Gary Elson, trainer of Sprinter, is confident the four-year-old will maintain his splendid form, even from the awkward draw of the inside of the back line. “He was superb in defeat at the hands of Vultan Tin at his latest run (last Friday week),” Elson said. In that event Sprinter started out wide at barrier seven and settled in ninth position before running home boldly from seventh at the bell to finish second, two and a half lengths behind the flying Vultan Tin, who opened up a lead of several lengths in the middle stages. The Ross Olivieri-trained Our Jericho will start out wide at barrier eight, but looks a strong chance after several excellent recent efforts, including two thirds behind star pacer Chicago Bull. Our Jericho has a losing sequence of 16, but is certainly capable of ending that run of outs. He has been freshened up since his good fourth behind Ideal Alice and Vultan Tin on July 21. Ken Casellas

Chris Voak has given punters a valuable lead by opting to drive veiled Secret in preference to Captured Delight in the Choices Flooring Pace for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has driven both fillies to victory at their most recent outing, scoring with the Ross Olivieri-trained Veiled Secret at Pinjarra on July 31 when the Tinted Cloud filly raced wide early and then without cover before beating Orphan Reactor at a 1.57.4 rate over 1684m. That was Veiled Secret’s first win from six starts. She will begin from barrier three on the back line on Friday night. Voak drove the Terry Ferguson-trained Captured Delight when she raced wide early from barrier four, took the lead after 300m and won by a head from Rosies Ideal at a 1.58.9 rate over 2130m at Gloucester Park last Friday week. Captured Delight won at her previous start when driven by Michael Grantham --- when she raced without cover before beating Ella Gant Player and All Over Tan over 2130m at Gloucester Park. Ferguson has engaged Dylan Egerton-Green for the filly on Friday night when she will start out wide at barrier eight on the front line. Grantham will drive the polemarker Muffins, and trainer Michael Brennan is confident she will improve on her encouraging fourth behind Havarti over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. Havarti, trained by Rob MacDonald at Pinjarra, revealed excellent gate speed from barrier four when she led all the way on Monday and beat Orphan Reactor by just under three lengths when having her first start for two months. Havarti will start from the No. 5 barrier, with another fast beginner and excellent frontrunner All Over Tan at barrier four. All Over Tan, trained at Byford by Peter Anderson, will be driven by Chris Lewis and will take a power of beating if she is able to burst to an early lead. Banjup trainer-reinsman Colin Brown was impressed with Fortunate Adda’s win on debut at Northam on Tuesday of last week and is looking for another strong showing from barrier six on Friday night.    Fortunate Adda raced outside the pacemaker Wilkins Medinahall before beating that filly after final quarters in 29.6sec. and 28.9sec. “What I know from the track is that she can run a 27sec. quarter,” Brown said. “What I don’t know is how many (27sec. quarters) she’s got. She’s probably got only one. She’s got gate speed and high speed at the end of her race … so who knows? Hopefully, I can put her in the race at some stage. “She’s a nice filly, has been well educated and has been in work for a long time. She has been well schooled. Two-year-olds don’t normally win first-up, especially against the experienced ones. I don’t know how tough she is. At Northam, she faced the breeze and we were lucky enough to be able to rate back, and the leader let us get a 31.4sec. and 32.4sec. for the first two quarters. She really only had to go the last 600m.” The best-performed filly in the race is Rosies Ideal, who has had eight starts for Pinjarra trainer-reinsman Shane Young for three wins and two placings. Rosies Ideal will be seriously tested from the outside (No. 9) on the front line, but she has the spirit and strength to overcome that distinct disadvantage. Ken Casellas

The powerful combination of eight-time premier trainer Ross Olivieri and champion reinsman Chris Lewis has high hopes of continuing its successful run in the $25,000 Allwood Stud Marathon Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night by winning the 3309m listed classic with up-and-coming star Motu Premier. Lewis and Olivieri have combined to win the Marathon Handicap with Nickelmeldon in 2009, Chief Thundercloud (2015) and Our Jericho (last year). Chief Thundercloud and Our Jericho are owned by Merv Butterworth, who also races four-year-old Motu Premier, the youngest and least experienced runner in this week’s race. Motu Premier has shown the class to overcome the disadvantage of starting off the 30-metre mark, with only The Bucket List (off 40m) behind him. He has yet to contest a standing-start event in Australia, but has a good record in stands in New Zealand. His 23 New Zealand starts produced seven wins and ten seconds. He raced six times in stands for three wins. His final race in New Zealand was on the grass track at Methven where he began off 40m and ran on from sixth at the bell to win from Johnny Eyre. This week’s Marathon Handicap should suit Motu Premier ideally. The Bettors Delight gelding has won twice over 3000m. Twelve months ago Our Jericho, a 6/1 chance off the 10m mark, enjoyed a perfect trail, one-out and one-back, before finishing strongly to win by a length from the pacemaker, the Michael Brennan-trained Naughty Maravu. Motu Premier arrived in Australia early in April this year and raced four times in New South Wales for three wins and a second placing. His five WA starts have produced four wins and a second. He maintained his splendid form when he started out wide at barrier eight, raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing powerfully to win the 2130m Chandon final from Mach Time and Natural Disaster last Friday week, rating 1.55.9. Brennan hopes to go one better than his second placing with Naughty Maravu last year and his four runners on Friday night are all capable standing-start performers. He will be represented by The Bucket List, the sole backmarker off 40m who will be driven by Michael Grantham, Rub Of The Green (Gary Hall jun.), Cut For An Ace (Aiden de Campo) and Im Master Charlie (Chris Voak). The Bucket List is a quality pacer who has earned $317,935 from 19 wins and 31 placings from 75 starts. His four starts since resuming from a spell have produced a win over Our Jimmy Johnstone and Beaudiene Boaz and seconds to Tricky Styx (twice) and Chicago Bull. The Bucket List is an experienced standing-start performer and a redoubtable stayer, who finished a nose second to Firebomb in the 2970m York Cup at Northam in November 2015. Rub Of The Green has a splendid record of 19 wins, seven seconds and a third from only 33 starts. He has been freshened up since he was seventh early before racing in the breeze for almost two circuits and getting to the front on the home turn and winning from Robyns Raider in a 2503m stand on July 14. He will start from 30m on Friday night and will have many admirers. Im Master Charlie (front) and Cut For An Ace (10m) are not foolproof in stands, but are capable of figuring in the finish. Always Arjay is in outstanding form for Serpentine trainer Matt Scott, who has engaged Nathan Turvey to drive the five-year-old after Lewis opted for Motu Premier. Always Arjay, who will start off 10m, is a versatile pacer who has won in stands at his past four starts. Turvey won the 2013 Marathon Handicap behind Balleybofey. Tommy Be Good and Rycroft are racing keenly and will start off 20m. Stuart McDonald will drive the Katja Warwick-trained Tommy Be Good, who impresses with his spirited finishing bursts. Rycroft set the pace and won a 2503m stand last Friday week for Henley Brook trainer Mike Reed. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old will be handled by Kim Prentice, who drove Serious Pursuit to victory in the 2003 Marathon Handicap. Kim Young, who drove To San Jose when he dead-heated for first with Sir Lektor in the 1996 Marathon, will be represented by veteran standing-start specialist Maximum Demand, who will be driven by Jocelyn Young and should be prominent from barrier one on the front line. Ken Casellas

A South Australian-bred five-year-old who has won in three States and has had the services of 19 different harness racing drivers in a 50-start career is an interesting runner in the 1730m Get Ready To Rock Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He is the Sportswriter gelding King Crocker, who has been unplaced at seven starts since winning in very modest company in Albany early last February. King Crocker is a recent addition to the Oakford stables of eight-time WA premier trainer Ross Olivieri and he failed to flatter first-up in a C3-class event over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week when he revealed good gate speed and raced in the breeze for the first 700m before gaining the one-out, one-back trail. He wilted over the final 300m to finish 11th behind Hy Fyfe. “He’s had one run for me and I was quite pleased with the run,” Olivieri said. “I think he gets his chance this week. I think he will lead and win.” Indeed, King Crocker has the breeding to succeed. He is a half-brother to Major Crocker, who has earned $639,312 from 26 wins and 21 placings from 82 starts. Major Crocker won a 2536m heat of the Interdominion championship at Gloucester Park in December 2015 and he finished second to New Zealand superstar Lazarus in the Victoria Cup at Melton last January. King Crocker, whose eight wins from 50 starts have been in moderate company, has earned just $30,105. He will be driven on Friday night by Chris Voak. Olivieri also expects a strong showing from Cullen Class in the 2130m Cosmic Horizons Pace for three-year-old Westbred fillies. Cullen Class will be handled by Voak from barrier four in a very open affair. She has managed just two placings from ten starts. “Her latest run was very good,” Olivieri said. “She breezed and fought on really well (when fourth behind Susie Rocks). She’s not out of this race; she’s a chance.” Ken Casellas

Hall of Fame trainer Gary Hall Snr landed the quinella in last year’s Chandon Final and he is hoping to repeat the dose in the $25,000 In Memory of Bob Pollock The Chandon Final over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night. He has four runners, Mach Time (barrier one), Harry Hoo (two), Zach Maguire (inside of the back line) and King Lebron (outside of the back). Gary Hall Jnr has given punters a good lead by opting to drive Zach Maguire, a stylish all-the-way last-start winner over Motu Premier. His elder brother Clint will handle talented frontrunner Mach Time, Chris Voak has been engaged for Harry Hoo and Lauren Jones for King Lebron. “It’s a really good field, with many winning chances,” said Hall Jnr, who finished second with 6/1 chance American Boy in the Chandon Final 12 months ago after racing in the breeze for the final 1500m. Stablemate Ricimer, a 16/1 chance driven by Kim Prentice, set the pace and beat American Boy by just under a length. “Mach Time looks set to lead on Friday night and I should be sitting on him with Zach Maguire.” Zach Maguire is capable of unwinding a strong finishing burst, and Hall is hopeful the Bettors Delight four-year-old will get clear in the final circuit and outsprint Mach Time, another New Zealand-bred four-year-old with excellent potential. The main dangers to Mach Time and Zach Maguire loom large as Motu Premier, Natural Disaster and Vanquished. Motu Premier, to be driven by Chris Lewis for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri, is in dazzling form and should prove mighty hard to beat. A winner of seven races in New Zealand, Motu Premier raced in New South Wales four times for three wins and his four starts in Western Australia have produced three wins and a last-start second to Zach Maguire when he had a tough run in the breeze. “It’s always a task when you draw wide (barrier eight), but I think he will run a good race,” said Lewis. Natural Disaster, a WA-bred four-year-old by American stallion Shadow Play, is in brilliant form for Boyanup trainer-driver Justin Prentice, with his 11 starts this season producing seven wins and two placings. He is unbeaten at his three outings after resuming from a spell and he should obtain an excellent passage after starting from the No. 2 barrier on the back line. Vanquished, in the stables of leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, will be driven by Ryan Warwick from barrier three on the front line and he warmed up for Friday night’s event with an impressive victory at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night.   He raced in sixth place in the one-wide line before bursting to the front 520m from home and winning by more than two lengths from Auctioneers Elsu, rating a smart 1.55.2 over the 2130m journey. Ken Casellas

Leading owners Merv and Meg Butterworth are no strangers to winning big races. The heroics of Arden Rooney in the 2015 New Zealand Cup with record breaking trainer/driver Kerryn Manning have been well documented, and rightly so. In fact, there isn't many national or state borders that haven't been crossed in search of a feature winner for the Victorian based couple. Success has come via the All Stars stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Ross Olivieri in Perth has also provided plenty of triumphs while Manning herself continues to build on her impressive list. The state of Queensland isn't foreign to the Butterworth's either as they continue to build on their impressive trophy cabinet. Victories in the Sunshine Sprint (Motu Crusader), Queensland Derby and Premiers Cup (Best Deal Yet) have come their way previously. And now they return, searching for more glory. On Saturday night, they will be represented by a pair of quality performers in two of the feature events, the final night of the 2017 Albion Park winter carnival. Motu Meteor lines up from the ace draw in the $75,000 AQWA Constructions Queensland Derby while four-year-old Mr Mojito starts from the second-line in the $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship. Both races will be staged over 2680m. "I think both horses are very classy and have great natural talent so they can't be taken lightly. We only confirmed plans earlier this week although we hatched this idea a few weeks ago." Merv Butterworth said. Motu Meteor resumed with a solid performance at Ballarat last Thursday, rating 1:57.1 for the 1710m. The Bettors Delight gelding boasts a solid grounding for the blue riband classic after finishing second behind Our Little General in the Victoria Derby and then third behind Vincent and Ultimate Machete in the New South Wales Derby. In both series, he managed to win his qualifying heats comfortably. Formerly prepared by Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Motu Meteor now looms as the biggest threat to race favourite The More The Better which is prepared by Purdon and Rasmussen. The two pacers have clashed on two previous occasions, both times The More The Better finished in front of Motu Meteor. “Both of those races were staged in the North Island of New Zealand and he had excuses in the Auckland feature while he was too good for us in the Cambridge Guineas. “Barrier draws are a major part of racing and we’ve landed the best draw while The More The Better faces a second-line draw and that will make a difference this week. “I’m thrilled with the draw and I expect a really good effort this weekend, I’ve watched the Brisbane events over the past couple of weeks and I’m certain we’ll be right in the mix.” While Butterworth is thrilled with the Derby draw, he wasn’t so excited about the draw of Mr Mojito in the Blacks A Fake. The Real Desire gelding will start from gate 11, four off the second-line. In two starts for Manning, Mr Mojito finished a solid third behind My Field Marshal and Mattgregor in the 4 & 5yo Championship at TABCORP Park, Melton before a brave second behind potential superstar Heaven Rocks at Ashburton on Jewels day (June 3). “He’s a very good horse and he will need to be in this race and from this draw but I’m very confident in his ability. He’s in good order and just requires some luck. “If we manage to find the right cover, he’ll be thereabouts.” His biggest success came earlier this season at Gloucester Park when triumphant in the Gr.2 $50,000 4yo Championship. Chris Barsby

Friday night's Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace (2130m) is shaping up as one of the highlights on a terrific night of  harness racing. The M0-M2 race has some promising pacers engaged and finding the winner won't be easy. Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri has a strong hand in the event with Military Master and El Hombre, but there are many realistic winning chances. Military Master, with champion reinsman Chris Lewis in the bike, is shooting for four wins on the trot, while El Hombre, to be reined by the equally talented Gary Hall Jnr, will be aiming for three wins from his past six starts. Military Master has drawn gate three and Lewis is expected to make a bold bid for the lead from his favourable barrier, but Michael Grantham on polemarker Im Master Charlie might have something to say about that. Im Master Charlie, three wins from his past four runs, is up in class but his inside draw offsets this and Grantham will be keen to make the most of the rails. The Callan Suvaljko trained and reined Skippy Rascal is also fast out of the machine and will be looking to lead or take up a forward position from gate two. He ran a close third behind Franco Rayner two starts ago at headquarters before finishing second behind the much-improved Soho Wall Street last week at GP. Adding to the intrigue is Justin Prentice's exciting four-year-old gelding Natural Disaster, who made a winning return to the racetrack at Bunbury earlier this month following a four-month spell. He's drawn awkwardly in gate five but certainly has the ability to test this field. Natural Disaster finished fourth, nine metres behind Soho Tribeca in a hot Golden Nugget field last December and has won seven of his 24 starts. He would have derived plenty of benefit from his first-up victory and should not be underestimated. Throw in the likes of Chelsea Royale (Barrier 4) the winner of five of her past six starts before a spell, ultra-consistent mare Foxy Dame (7), prolific winner Aussie Delight (11) and El Hombre (12) and you have a cracker of a race. Good luck trying to find the winner. Wayne Currall

Sheer Rocknroll, a wonderfully consistent four-year-old, should boost her earnings past the $200,000 mark by winning the $25,000 International Animal Health Products Westbred final for harness racing four and five-year-old mares at Gloucester Park on Thursday night. The Rocknroll Hanover mare warmed up for this assignment in eye-catching style last Friday night when she began from the back line and raced in fourth place on the pegs for most of the way before sprinting home strongly to finish second to talented six-year-old gelding Eyre Crusher. The final sections were run in 27.9sec. and 28.2sec. and Sheer Rocknroll finished ahead of several smart performers, including Foxy Dame and Bungalow Bill.   Sheer Rocknroll, trained by Ross Olivieri and driven by Chris Lewis, is handily drawn at barrier four on the front line and she should carry too many guns for the opposition, none of whom has anywhere near the record of Sheer Rocknroll, who has amassed $194,902 from 18 wins and ten placings from 44 starts. Sheer Rocknroll is the first foal out of former star mare Sheer Royalty, who raced only 33 times for nine wins, seven placings and $248,904 in prizemoney. Her victories included three feature events for three-year-old fillies in 2009 --- the group 1 double of the WA Oaks and State Sires Series and the group 3 Daintys Daughter Classic. The three mares drawn inside of Sheer Rocknroll have place prospects as does last-start winner Falling Starzzz (barrier two on the back line) and Lovers Prayer (barrier No. 5), a winner three starts ago. Drawn on the inside of Sheer Rocknroll are Nowuseemegirl (Aiden de Campo), Sea Cider (Michael Grantham) and Kathleen Betty (Shannon Suvaljko). Nowuseemegirl has been driven to victory at all her seven wins by de Campo, but she has been unplaced at her past seven starts since winning at Bunbury last September. She led and faded to fifth behind Lovers Prayer at Gloucester Park at her most recent outing. She is capable of improvement. Sea Cider showed a welcome return to form and ended a losing sequence of 16 when she led and won from Bettor Bling over 1780m at Northam on Thursday March 30. Kathleen Betty rises in class after a last-start fifth behind Alfs Odyssey at Bunbury last Saturday night. She won three in a row (one at Bunbury and two in Albany) in February and March. Ken Casellas

Eight-time premiership harness racing trainer Ross Olivieri declares that everything is spot on for rising star Im Full of Excuses and is confident the New Zealand-bred gelding will win the $35,000 Alltools Four and Five-Year-Old Championship at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Im Full of Excuses has thrived since his outstanding performance to win the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup on Monday of last week when he was ninth at the bell and then sustained a powerful three and four-wide burst to hit the front on the home turn and race away to beat Our Jimmy Johnstone by five lengths at a 1.55.9 rate over the 2692m journey. The final quarters were covered in 28.5sec. and 27.5sec. and Olivieri agreed that this was a career-best performance by Im Full of Excuses, who has won at nine of his past 12 starts. A victory this week would give Olivieri his third success in the Four and Five-Year-Old Championship, after successes with Heros Knight in 1998 and Crombie in 2011. Chris Lewis, who has driven Im Full of Excuses in all of his 13 West Australian starts for nine wins and one placing, has won the Four and Five-Year-Old Championship a record four times. He has been successful with Village Kid (1985), Hilarion Star (1992), Heros Knight (1998) and Make The Rules (1999). Last year he drove 8/1 chance Fernleigh Rebel, who was a fast-finishing second, beaten a half-head by The Odd Lover. “He’s on track and his work this week has been terrific,” said Olivieri. “He’s drawn barrier seven in a field of seven and whatever happens, happens. Chris will work it out. “Im Full of Excuses beat some very good horses in the Pinjarra Cup, but before that a lot of his races were really two-horse affairs, without detracting from the other runners. He meets strong opposition on Friday night. There are many very promising horses in the race. “He’ll continue racing at the moment. We’ll just keep picking our way through selected races in this preparation. Somewhere along the line we’ll give him a break, but he’s not wanting it at the moment.” American Boy, who finished third in the Pinjarra Cup before an effortless all-the-way victory over Risk, rating 1.55.7 over 2130m last Friday night, will start from the No. 5 barrier on Friday night and appeals as one of the main rivals for Im Full of Excuses. American Boy is prepared by champion trainer Gary Hall sen., who has won the Four and Five-0Year-Old Championship with Love of Glory (1990), Zakara (1991), Make The Rules (1999) and Northview Punter (2014). Gary Hall jun., who was in the sulky for Northview Punter’s victory, will handle American Boy, who has an outstanding record of 29 starts for 18 wins, seven seconds and one third. Risk, who was an excellent first-up second to American Boy last week (when he finished solidly from the one-out, one-back position) will be driven by Ryan Bell from barrier four. He has won at 14 of his 40 starts and is prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, who have won the race with Ohokas Bondy in 2012 and Your Good Fortune in 2013. The Mike Reed-trained Kiwi Legend will be driven by Shannon Suvaljko from the No. 3 barrier and should prove hard to catch if he is able to burst to an early lead. However, there is a strong possibility that Aiden de Campo will make a spirited bid to take full advantage of the No. 1 draw and attempt to set the pace with Blythewood trainer Gary Elson’s smart four-year-old Ideal Tyson, who has had 39 starts for 16 wins and 12 placings. The other four-year-olds in the race, New World Order and Mister Versace, are racing in wonderful style, but will need to be right at their top to beat the more mature five-year-olds. Ken Casellas

Four-year-old Sheer Rocknroll is one of the State’s most promisingharness racing mares and she is poised to make a successful return to racing after a three-month absence when she contests the $19,000 Princi Butchers Pace for mares at Gloucester Park on Friday night. Ace Byford trainer Ross Olivieri said: “She’s got to contend with a crook barrier (No. 7) and being first-up. But I think she can do it.” Sheer Rocknroll, to be handled by Chris Lewis, who chalked up his century of winners for the season when he drove stablemate Im Full of Excuses to a dazzling victory in the $50,000 Pinjarra Cup on Monday afternoon, has a superior record to those of her seven rivals. She is extremely versatile and has already amassed $177,922 in prizemoney from 17 wins and nine placings from 40 starts. “I’m not sure how she will be driven,” Olivieri said. “It might be an option to come out (fast) in a bid to take the lead. She has really pleased us in her work and I think she’s going to run a super race. There’s some handy horses in the race, but probably none have done the sort of things she has done. “She looks well placed in Friday night’s field, but the first thing I’d say is that she will improve on whatever she does. I’m sure of that.” A winner of six races in a row earlier in the season, Sheer Rocknroll has not appeared since she raced three wide early and then faded from seventh in the one-wide line at the bell to finish last behind The Parade in the $125,000 Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on December 9. A week earlier she raced without cover when a fighting third behind Ideal Alice and A Piccadilly Princess in the Parliamentarians Cup. Her major rival looms as Giuliana Rancic, who will be driven by Gary Hall jun. for his father, champion trainer Gary Hall sen. The New Zealand-bred five-year-old is ideally drawn at barrier two and will have many admirers after her solid effort when she raced wide early and then ran on gamely from the one-out, one-back position to be second to the speedy frontrunner Allthewaytothebank. Olivieri, Lewis and Sheer Rocknroll’s owner-breeder Bob Fowler have high hopes for Lord Willoughby, who started at 11/2 and overcame the No. 6 barrier to score an impressive victory over Major Pocket in a 2130m event at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon. Lord Willoughby was sixth at the bell and fifth on the home bend before he surged home to win convincingly at a 1.56.9 rate. It was his third win from 15 starts. A son of Mach Three, Lord Willoughby will be set for feature events for three-year-olds, including the $200,000 Sky Racing WA Derby on April 7. “Probably his main mission will be later on in the season in the Westbred Classic,” Olivieri said. “But he won’t be out of place in the Derby. The thing about him which is particularly pleasing is that he’s improving with every start. He’s getting better and better.” Olivieri was thrilled with the win of Im Full of Excuses (4/1) in Monday’s Pinjarra Cup in which he rated 1.55.9 over the 2692m trip. Lewis brought the five-year-old with a sizzling burst of speed from ninth at the bell to hit the front on the home turn and win by five lengths from the 11/8 favourite Our Jimmy Johnstone, with the final quarters (off the front) being run in 28.5sec. and 27.5sec. “The final quarter was exceptional and Im Full of Excuses would’ve broken 27sec. out wide on the track,” Olivieri said. “Races for him in the next month could include the Four and Five-Year-Old Championship, the Harvey Cup at Bunbury and the Easter Cup.” Ken Casellas

Veteran harness racing reinsman Chris Lewis romped the Ross Olivieri-trained gelding Im Full Of Excuses to a prevailing 14m-length victory to claim this year’s $50,000 Pinjarra Pacing Cup (2692m) today. Racing at the Pinjarra Paceway, Im Full Of Excuses won his fourth country pacing cup – having already conquered York, Kalgoorlie and Northam – in dominant fashion. Im Full Of Excuses was second in the line of betting, with punters heavily favouring the Greg and Skye Bond-prepared Our Jimmy Johnstone pre-race. However, Lewis and Im Full Of Excuses glided home in the final 200m to cruise to a classy Group 2 win in front of Our Jimmy Johnstone and American Boy. Im Full Of Excuses has won more than $173,000 in prize money, after snaring 15 victories from 33 starts. The victory also adds to the evergreen Lewis’ growing list of achievements, which includes the WA Pacing Cup, Fremantle Cup, WA Derby and WA Oaks among his more than 5000 career wins. By Zach Relph Reprinted with permission of The West Australian

“He worked beautifully at Byford this morning (Tuesday) and is a big chance in the first at Gloucester Park on Friday night,” declared eight-time WA premiership harness racing trainer Ross Olivieri when assessing Military Master’s prospects in the first heat of the 2130m Clipsal By Schneider Electric Westbred Pace. The five-year-old Bettor's Delight stallion, who has had 21 starts for six wins, seven seconds and a third, will begin from barrier two on the back line and is sure to meet stiff opposition, particularly from Mister Versace, Rich Yankee and Hindu Kumara. “He’s still waiting to get clear,” said Olivieri when referring to Military Master’s unlucky fifth behind Superimposed last Friday night when he started from the inside of the back line and raced three back on the pegs in sixth position. At his previous outing, a fortnight earlier, Military Master began speedily from barrier seven, burst to the front after 250m and went on to win by a length from Mister Versace, who began from barrier eight and settled in last position before sustaining a powerful three-wide burst. “Drawing two on the back line is better than one on the back line,” Olivieri said. “However, it won’t be a walk in the park against some good horses.” Military Master will again be driven by Chris Lewis, fresh from a treble at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. It is significant that Lewis has chosen to drive Military Master ahead of the speedy Americanbootscoota, who is now being prepared by Lewis’s wife Debra. Americanbootscoota, a four-year-old who has won seven races, led and scored an easy 2185m trial win over Nicnak Paddy Wak at Pinjarra last Sunday week. The final quarters in the six-horse trial were 28.1sec. and 27.6sec. The gelding will be driven on Friday night by Clint Hall.  Mister Versace, a four-year-old by Bettors Delight and trained by Annie Belton, will be driven by Kim Prentice. The gelding ran on solidly from four back on the pegs at the bell to finish fourth behind Bettor Reward in the Manea Classic at Bunbury last Saturday week. He is in the best form of his fledgling career. Rich Yankee, to be driven from barrier six by Dylan Egerton-Green for Northam trainer Jesse Moore, will have many admirers after his dazzling performance over 2190m at Northam on Thursday of last week when he charged forward from eighth at the bell to race away to a six-length victory over Saleahs Command, rating 1.57.6. His 20 starts have produced nine wins, six seconds and one third placing. Byford trainer-reinsman Joe Suvaljko has five-year-old Hindu Kumara firing and stylish wins at his past two starts indicate more wins in store for the gelding. Ken Casellas

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