Gloucester Park Review – Friday 20th May 2022

23 May 2022 | Michael Heaton

Hall Jnr steals the show with awesome foursome

Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr had a red-letter night at Gloucester Park on Friday night, driving four winners from eight drives.

The Hall of Famer guided Vivere Damore to victory in the opening race of the 10-race card before landing a treble for his father, trainer Gary Hall Snr, with stablemates Will I Rocknroll, Jumpingjackmac and Finvara.

Hall Jnr, who goes on an annual holiday to Exmouth on Monday, says the results came at a handy time.

“It was good to get that night in before I left,” he said.

“We go up every year with Justin and Jacqueline Prentice and a few other couples.

“Deni Roberts and Mitch Miller are coming this year, so there are 10 of us going.”

Veteran mare Vivere Damore kicked off Hall Jnr’s good night in the opening race of the program when relishing a change of fortune and jumping from barrier one in the Trotsynd Fillies & Mares Pace (2130m).

The Peter Tilbrook-trained seven-year-old had drawn the pole position only once from her previous 46 starts and justified her $2.50 favouritism with an all-the-way win.

“She deserved that win,” Hall Jnr said.

“She’s raced without luck at the draw for a long time so her and Will I Rocknroll both came up with a marble and took advantage.

“You could be waiting another 20 starts for a good draw so it was good to get the win when they get a draw.

“They’ve both been racing really well and anybody who had been following them were probably happy enough to be on them on Friday.

“It’s pretty competitive out there at the moment so when you don’t draw good it’s pretty hard.

“They both picked themselves on their form I thought.”

Later in the night Jumpingjackmac proved why the Hall camp have such a high opinion of him when toying with rivals in the Know When To Run Pace (2536m).

Starting a $2.05 favourite, the Free-For-All event was the Mach Three four-year-old’s first race start for more than four months.

“I said all last time in that I think he’s one of our best horses, if not the best,” Hall Jnr said.

“He’s been a little immature but he’s starting to put it all together now.

“He seems to go really well fresh and last time in his first-up run was super as well.

“We threw him in the deep end first-up, I suppose, but he won pretty comfortably and I think there are big things in store for him if he stays fit and healthy.”

Stablemate Finvarra, a four-year-old entire, continued the Halls’ good form when justifying his white-hot $1.10 favouritism with an easy win in the Has No Fear – G1 Winner Pace (2130m).

The son of American Ideal has won seven of his 14 race starts to date, as well as recording six minor placings, and Hall Jnr says he is a model of consistency.

“He’s just a horse everyone would love to own,” he said.

“He’s above average and he tries every time he goes out there.

“He’s had his little issues along the way – he’s really shallow in the foot and has a few issues, but we seem to be on the top of them at the moment.

“There’s actually not much between him and Jumpingjackmac on ability.

“They work up at home together and I was pretty confident Finvara would get the job done after Jumpingjackmac won.”

Hall Jnr was also pleased about the performance of Ron Huston’s Robbie Rocket ($4.20) when finishing second to the Michael Brennan-trained and Michael Grantham-driven Pinny Tiger ($1.85) in the Manning – G1 Winner Pace (2130m).

“I didn’t think he could hold Pinny Tiger out and win the race,” he said.

“When it crossed us it was probably all over for everyone, really.

“Pinny Tiger’s racing really well and it went super but I was actually really happy with Robbie Rocket’s run.

“He chased hard and he beat home the rest of the field pretty comfortably – I thought he was really good.

“For him to come out the gate hard, run that time and still finish off is a good sign.”

Wonderful To Fly is wonderful to watch

Star three-year-old Wonderful To Fly continued her winning ways when taking out the $50,000 Group 2 Trotsynd Diamond Classic (2130m).

It was the Fly Like An Eagle filly’s third-straight win and the fifth Group success of her career after victories in the Group 1 2YO Fillies Westbred Classic, Group 2 3YO Fillies Sales Classic, Group 2 3YO Fillies Final and Group 3 2YO Fillies Gold Bracelet.

Trainer-driver Shane Young produced a daring drive when drifting back off the inside of the back line before working into the clear and pressing forward to take up the lead with a lap-and-a-half to go.

Wonderful To Fly ($1.22) kicked away on the home bend before tiring over the final stages but hung on to defeat Sovrana ($15) by more than two metres.

“I’m lucky that she’s good enough and strong enough to hold on,” Young said.

“You wouldn’t be able to do that with many horses.

“She’s got really good speed so once I made my mind up and used her speed, I suppose that won her the race.”

Young says he was cautious of remaining in the leaders-back position from inside the back line and risk being held up for clear running in the straight.

“I just tried to take the risk out of the equation,” he said.

“If I got her in the open I’d be giving her an opportunity, but if I had stayed on the fence I imagine Dylan and the others wouldn’t let me out and you’re just stuck.

“I just wanted to make sure she got out.

“I think she was all out at the finish but probably in the context when you watch the race, she had to burn up to get to the front and she still ran home in good time.

“Those other fillies were taking ground off her late when she probably started to fatigue a bit, but she got the job done and we ticked another box.”

After a brilliant campaign where she’s raced every month of 2022 to have 11 starts for eight wins, a second and two thirds, Wonderful To Fly has earned herself a break.

“She’ll head to the paddock now,” Young said.

“Hopefully she’ll race on the eighth of July which is the Westsired Fillies race for three-year-olds.

“She’ll have about three weeks off and that gives me a few weeks to get her back for that race.”

Meanwhile, the other winners on the Gloucester Park program included Typhoon Banner, Twobob Cracker, Caveman and Hot Pursued.

Jumping from barrier two, Typhoon Banner ($4.80) came from behind the leader to score in the Pace (2130m) for trainer-driver Dylan Egerton-Green.

It was the Bettors Delight five-year-old’s second win from his past three starts and brought the hot-streak of Eldaytona, who had won his previous three starts and six of his past seven, to an end after he settled for a runner-up finish.

Leading driver Shannon Suvaljko later brought up the first leg of a race-to-race double when guiding Glenn Elliot’s Twobob Cracker ($4.80) to victory in the Trotsynd – G1 Syndicators Pace (2503m).

The Art Major gelding came off the front line in the standing start event before settling one-out and one-back and running over the top of $2.25 favourite Glenledi Chief who had worked hard to the breeze from a 30m handicap.

The next race saw Suvaljko salute again aboard the Mike Reed-trained Caveman when getting up in a tight finish to the Trotsynd – Trained by Justin Prentice Pace (2130m).

Starting on the second line of betting at $3.20, the Somebeachsomewhere five-year-old produced a tough performance to work across from barrier six and face the breeze throughout running before fighting on strongly to hold Bellezza Nera ($5.50) off by a short-half-head on the line.

Kyle Harper later produced the upset of the night when saluting aboard rank outsider Hotly Pursued ($23) in the final event on the program, the JP Pacing 2YO Pace (2130m).

Trained by Murray Lindau, the Huntsville juvenile was the only runner in double figures in the five-horse field but took advantage when race-favourite All Is Well ($2.20) broke gait and dropped out.

The gelding ran home strongly to collar race leader Juggernaut ($8) turning for home and score by three metres.

This Friday night will see the running of the $50,000 Group 2 APG Series 30 4YO Consolation Final (1730m) at Gloucester Park.


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