Gloucester Park Review Friday 8th October 2021

11 October 2021 | Ken Casellas

Paul Edward shows his class

Talented two-year-old Paul Edward revived memories of former champion pacer David Hercules when he scored a runaway victory in the Cowden Limited The Insurance Brokers Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The classy colt is a half-brother to seven winners of 90 races, including David Hercules, who amassed $1,263,159 from his 39 wins and 35 placings from 108 starts for his breeder and part-owner Steve Johnson and Byford trainer David Thompson.

Paul Edward’s win in the final event completed a wonderful double for Johnson, Thompson and reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green, who had combined to win the opening event with quality three-year-old Otis.

Thompson, who is suffering from a debilitating illness, was at home where he watched his colts win stylishly, with his wife Karen caring for the stable runners on course.

Paul Edward, by American stallion Always B Miki, is the ninth foal out of the Golden Greek mare Like A Dame, who managed three wins from 36 starts before being retired to stud. Paul Edward was foaled on October 8, 2018, and it was an unusual coincidence that his third win from 12 starts (along with six placings) boosted his earnings to $31,315 on October 8, 2021.

Paul Edward was the $1.70 favourite from the No. 6 barrier in the 2130m event which was widely regarded as a match between him and High Price ($2.15).

However, the much-anticipated duel did not eventuate, with High Price beginning speedily from the outside barrier in the field of seven and leading by a length and about to cross $34 chance Peter Romeo and take up the running after 150m when he broke into a fierce gallop and dropped back to a distant last.

Egerton-Green then dashed Paul Edward to the front, and the colt was not extended in setting the pace and winning by five lengths from stablemate Peter Romeo to give Johnson and Tompson the quinella. The final quarters were run in 29sec. and 28.7sec., with Paul Edward rating 1.57.4.

Paul Edward, High Price (who, at his debut a fortnight earlier had led and beaten Paul Edward) and Peter Romeo have shown excellent promise of developing into leading candidates for the WA Derby and other classic events for three-year-olds next year.

Egerton-Green maintained his form in the sulky by winning with Oscar Maguire in the opening event at Kellerberrin on Sunday afternoon.

Four winners to Hall

Brilliant New Zealand-bred filly Always An Angel notched her fourth win in a row when she gave champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr an armchair drive in the 2130m Direct Trade Supplies Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Her all-the-way success completed a quartet of winners for Hall and took his tally for the season to 175 wins and a commanding lead on the West Australian premiership table. He is well ahead of Chris Voak (132 wins), Emily Suvaljko (129) and Ryan Warwick (109).

Boyanup trainer Justin Prentice is delighted with Always An Angel’s progress, with four Gloucester Park wins at her first four starts after resuming from a three-month break improving her record to 19 starts for 12 wins and five placings for earnings of $190,535.

Always An Angel, who is by Art Major, is still comparatively inexperienced, and Prentice is reluctant to thrust her to the deep end by setting her for the group 2 $50,000 Norms Daughter Classic on November 12 and the group 1 $125,000 Westral Classic on November 26, events in which she would meet many strong and experienced mares.

On Friday night Always An Angel was the $1.24 favourite from barrier two, and she was not extended in leading and winning by a length from $7 chance Booraa, who finished solidly from fourth at the bell. After slow early sectionals Always An Angel dashed over the final 400m in 27.6sec.

Earlier in the program Hall had scored with Bletchley Park ($3), My Carbon Copy ($5.50) and Henrik Larsson ($3).

Alta Engen upsets Jumpingjackmac

Alta Engen, an outstanding four-year-old, upset the brilliant three-year-old Jumpingjackmac when he rewarded his trainer-reinsman Aiden de Campo for a split-second change of tactics by edging out his star rival by a head in a thrilling group 3 Kersley Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Jumpingjackmac, the $1.12 favourite from barrier five, worked hard out three wide for the first 850m before getting past $26 chance Bettor Copagoodone and into the lead. Alta Engen, the third favourite at $22.70, was then in tenth position after de Campo had restrained him at the start from the No. 6 barrier.

De Campo explained that he had planned to drive Alta Engen quietly before relying on a late finishing burst.

“I wanted to sit him up before asking him for a strong sprint over the final 400m or 500m,” he said. “I wanted to sit him up because I had driven him quite tough at a lot of his runs.

“But the way the race panned out I had to change my mind and go forward a thousand metres from home and put him into the race at the bell --- and he was good enough to stick on late and get the job done. For Alta Engen to win I needed things to go wrong for the favourite.”

Alta Engen revealed sparkling speed to charge forward three wide 950m from home to move alongside Jumpingjackmac 150m later. The two star young pacers then were locked together in a titanic struggle in the final circuit, with Alta Engen prevailing by a head in a desperate finish.

Alta Engen rated 1.55.8 and improved his record to 24 starts for 13 wins, six placings and $133,609 in prizemoney.

Jaspervellabeach ($23) maintained his splendid form in finishing third after racing wide early and then in the breeze for a lap before gaining the one-out, one-back trail for the final lap.

De Campo continued in winning vein at Bunbury on Saturday night when he trained and drove Dominus Factum ($1.14) and Rockstar Rebel ($16) to victory.

Otis beats older rivals

Smart WA-bred three-year-old Otis passed a significant test at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he set the pace and won the 2130m Get The Taste of WA @ Beau Rivage Pace when having his first city contest against older rivals.

It was his first metropolitan-class run again pacers outside his age group --- and he succeeded in fine style, dashing over the final 400m sections in 28.2sec. and 28.6sec. and beating comeback five-year- Know When To Run by just over a half-length, rating 1.56.1.

“He is big, tough and mature and there was no great concern racing against older and more experienced horses,” said reinsman Dylan Egerton-Green. “He has raced against the best three-year-olds.”

Egerton-Green and Karen Thompson, wife of the colt’s trainer David Thompson, said that Otis still had plenty to learn about racing.

“He waits for them (the opposition) a bit, but when they come at him, he usually has something to give,” said Egerton-Green.

Mrs Thompson said that when giving Otis a fast hoppled work-out he looks at the other horses and seems to wonder what they’re doing. “He hasn’t switched on yet, and we’re waiting for the penny to drop,” she said. “But he’s getting there.

“We are looking at starting him in a three-year-old event next Friday night, and his long-range target is the Golden Nugget late next year.”

Otis was bred by Steve Johnson and is raced by him and his daughter Charlotte. He is by the American stallion Sweet Lou and is the first foal out of the Art Major mare Janet Gai, who managed one win from seven starts before being retired to stud.

Otis, who has earned $92,301 from nine wins and 11 placings from 28 starts, is related to Fake Embrace (178 starts for 37 wins, 40 placings and $240,249 in stakes) and Albuquerque, who raced 35 times for 15 wins, ten placings and $322,630.

Miller tips more wins for My Prayer

Young reinsman Mitch Miller is forming an excellent association with WA-bred mare My Prayer, and he predicted more city successes for the five-year-old after driving her to a convincing victory in the 2130m Channel 7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

My Prayer, trained in Busselton by Barry Howlett, was a $7.60 chance from the No.1 barrier, and Miller took full advantage of the prized draw by setting the pace after resisting a powerful early challenge from the $2.25 favourite Vivere Damore.

After a fast lead time of 36.4sec. My Prayer relaxed and coasted through the first quarters of the final mile in 31.9sec. and 29.9sec. before final sections of 28.2sec. and 29.3sec. She won by more than a length from $41 outsider Weewah, rating 1.57.6.

“We were confident in quite a strong field that My Prayer had enough speed to lead,” said Miller. “And I was confident that she could do the work early and survive the early pressure from Vivere Damore and still be able to finish off.

“I was a bit worried down the back when I kicked away that something might come from behind. I was sure that I had the one on my back (Weewah) beaten, but I wasn’t sure that Mini Mine Yet, racing three back the pegs was a beaten horse.

“But the way My Prayer hit the line she could have gone another 400m. Going forward, I expect My Prayer to thrive in these sort of races.”

My Prayer, purchased for $9000 at the 2017 APG Perth yearling sale, is proving a bargain for Howlett, his wife Lyn and their son Jimmy. She has raced 51 times for eight wins, 16 placings and $146,881 in prizemoney.

My Carbon Copy sprints home fast

My Carbon Copy had led and won four times before contesting the 2130m The West Australian Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, but he showed his great liking for sit-sprinting when he produced a sizzling burst of speed to score an impressive victory.

My Carbon Copy ($5.50) was making his second appearance after a spell when he began off the back line and Gary Hall jnr quickly had him racing in fifth position, three back on the pegs, with the $3.90 second fancy Infatuation setting the pace from the $2.80 favourite Bettorstartdreaming in the breeze.

Hall bided his time until he eased My Carbon Copy off the pegs 300m from home and then took the five-year-old four wide 100m later. My Carbon Copy surged to the front 120m from the post and won by two lengths from $7 chance Vespa, with Queen Shenandoah ($11) running home solidly to be third.

This improved My Carbon Copy’s record to 41 starts for 12 wins, 15 placings and $140,831 in prizemoney. He is a full-brother to former star pacer My Hard Copy, whose greatest asset was his dazzling sit-sprint ability. My Hard Copy was the winner of two WA Pacing Cups and one Fremantle Cup before being retired to stud with a record of 89 starts for 27 wins, 23 placings and stakes of $1,271,592.

Harper celebrates a milestone

Donald Harper landed his one hundredth winner at Gloucester Park last Tuesday when he drove Per Adua Ad Astra to an all-the-way victory --- and he celebrated this milestone on Friday night by winning the Battle of the Codes for Telethon Pace with the $36 outsider Thereugo.

Eight-year-old Thereugo was for many years a specialist speedy frontrunner, but the McArdle gelding has matured with age and is now comfortable being driven with a sit, even though he still possesses dazzling gate speed.

Harper used Thereugo’s sparkling early speed from out wide at barrier eight to burst straight to the front before he opted to relinquish the lead after 400m to the $3.90 second fancy Euphoria. Harper eased Thereugo off the pegs about 120m from home, and the veteran pacer sprinted strongly, three wide, to get to the front the final few strides to defeat Euphoria by a half-length.

“He got to the front very quickly,” said Harper. “He was short of a run (having his first start for three weeks), so I was happy to hand up the lead. He has got better as a sit-sprinter as he has got older, and he doesn’t pull as hard as he used to.”

Harper bred Thereugo, who is now raced by his father Lindsay and his aunty Chris Nash. Thereugo is out of the New Zealand-bred mare Janice Franco, who had 110 starts for eight wins, 19 placings and stakes of $76,782. Harper trained Janice Franco late in her career and drove her to victory at $27.20 over Im Jasper The Ghost at Gloucester Park in July 2011.

Alice Kay, the $1.90 favourite in Friday night’s event, ruined her chances when she hit the arm of the mobile barrier and galloped badly at release point. She settled in ninth position and was seventh at the bell before finishing determinedly to be a most unlucky fourth.  

Withoutthetuh takes the split

Victorian-bred four-year-old Withoutthetuh was hopelessly hemmed in on the pegs throughout the final lap of the 2096m Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night before he took advantage of a narrow gap in the final stages and flew home to snatch a last-stride victory over the pacemaker Nearis Green, who drifted out in the home straight.

Nearis Green, second fancy at $2.80 from the inside of the front line in the standing-start event, won the start, with Michael Grantham taking the sit with the $2.40 favourite Withoutthetuh, with The Tiger Army ($9) in the breeze.

“Withoutthetuh has been flying and we were hoping to lead,” said trainer Michael Brennan. “He then just needed that split, and he got it, thankfully.

“Though leading was our first option, Withoutthertuh is an outstanding chaser; he’s electric. He is a very consistent horse with above average ability. He is a good stand horse, and as we saw at his previous start, he is a very good mobile horse (who led and finished a close second to Rockaball).

“He is probably a preparation away from making his way through to faster-class races. He follows speed very good, and he will enjoy those faster-class events.     

“We bought him from his breeder Brett Bunfield, who has retained a share in the horse along with several long-term stable clients. When he came up for sale, I went to Victoria to drive him at Daniel Jack’s place, and I fell in love with him straight away.”

Withoutthetuh’s first 27 starts for Brennan have produced nine wins and 12 placings to take his career record to 33 starts for 11 wins, 14 placings and $94,728 in prizemoney. Brennan kept up the good work when he was successful with Told You Twice at Bunbury on Saturday night.

Hall’s advice helps Henrik Larsson

Some timely advice from champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr has helped promising four-year-old Henrik Larsson to return to form a month after the New Zealand-bred pacer had enjoyed a perfect run at his second outing after a seven-month absence before fading badly to finish last, 16 lengths from the winner Pontevivo in a race at Gloucester Park.

Hall was driving Copy N Pace who fished second in that event, and after the race he approached Henrik Larsson’s part-owner and trainer Luke Edwards and said that he felt that there was a specific reason why the pacer had failed so badly.

“If it wasn’t for Junior (Hall), Henrik Larsson could still be in the wilderness,” said Edwards. “He came and saw me after that race last month and said that Henrik Larsson was making a funny noise. That’s just Junior, being like a great horseman that he is, and for the love of the horse he came and told me about this problem.  

“We discovered that Henrik Larsson was choking himself in his races, without pulling. It was just the way he was holding his head, which was cutting off his wind. We now have rectified that problem by using an anti-choking device on him and an overhead check.

“We are still tinkering with a bit of gear, but Junior believes that we’re on the right track, and the horse is getting his confidence back.”

Edwards engaged Hall to drive Henrik Larsson in the Nova 93.7 Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night, and the $3 second favourite paced faultlessly, jumping straight to the front from the No. 3 barrier and covering the lead time in a smart 36sec. before relaxing and coasting over then opening quarters of the final mile in   32.8sec. and 31sec. before dashing over the final 400m sections in 28.4sec. and 28.8sec. on his way to winning comfortably from Express Beauty and C C Chevron.

This improved the New Zealand-bred pacer’s record to 17 starts for six wins, five placings and $41,545 in stakes.

Edwards said that Henrik Larsson had caused him many headaches this year. “We have had a lot of problems along the way, this time in,” he explained.

“He had a bit of feet trouble after he was gelded, and he suffered an abscess in one of his front feet, which developed into a staph infection. He lost about a third of his foot and was laid up for a few weeks.

“The big races at Christmas were always the goal but planning for the big events went by the wayside because of his problems. He is coming back from the wilderness, and hopefully we’re on the right track to get him back to his best.”

Bletchley Park on track for big Cups

Talented Victorian-bred five-year-old Bletchley Park is showing no signs of the tendon injury which forced him on to the sidelines for six months this year, and he is firmly on track to contest the rich Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups next January.

He followed his easy first-up all-the way win over 2536m two weeks ago with an impressive victory in the 2536m Fred Doy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“I’m very pleased with him, also backing up off his good first-up win when he got really keen,” said Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed after Gary Hall jnr had driven the $3 favourite Bletchley Park to a neck victory over the pacemaker and $4.80 chance Ideal Liner.

“I was slightly concerned about how he would come through that first-up run. The signs since that run showed that he is fine, and I was glad to see him come out tonight and do it again and get the win.

“I think that stringing together two fast-class wins shows that leading into the feature races he’s got the form to really put his name up and get a start in the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups. We don’t have that worry of trying to scramble at the last minute to get a run. Our plan is to try to not overrace him, and to space his runs.

“His next run will probably be in a fortnight.” However, Reed could well be tempted to run Bletchley Park in the $50,000 Mount Eden Sprint next Friday night.

Bletchley Park finished fourth behind Chicago Bull, Shockwave and Vampiro in the Mount Eden Sprint 12 months ago before he finished fourth behind Chicago Bull, Galactic Star and Shockwave in the Fremantle Cup and then started from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the WA Pacing Cup in which he raced at the rear and finished last.

“Bletchley Park hasn’t had any flare-ups and hasn’t shown any signs of the tendon issues which caused him to have an extended stay away from the track,” said Reed. “It’s fingers crossed that he stays sound.”

Bletchley Park started out wide at barrier seven on Friday night when he raced three wide for the first 450m and then in the breeze until he gained the one-out, one-back sit after a lap. A patient Hall waited until 250m from home before switching Bletchley Park three wide at the 250m mark. He burst to the front in the final 40m and won in good style after the final 800m weas covered in 57sec. This took Bletchley Park’s record to 52 starts for 18 wins, 20 placings and $348,462 in stakes.



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