American Brave On Trial

Enigmatic five-year-old American Brave has been has been thrust into the deep end by champion trainer Gary Hall Snr and will face a stern test at his first appearance in Free-For-All company when he contests the $25,000 Retravision Your Fujitsu Specialist Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“His performance in this company will be a guide to his future and whether he is a realistic hope of running in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup early next month,” Hall said.

Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr said that American Brave, a comparative novice of only 18 starts for eight wins, had loads of ability, but was still learning to race. “He tends to overrace and race fiercely,” he said. “Once he learns to settle in his races, he will be a much better competitor.”

American Brave faces a moment of truth from out wide at barrier eight in a field of nine and will be seriously tested by quality pacers of the calibre of Mighty Conqueror, Caviar Star, Bill Haley and Golden State.

Last Friday night American Brave started from barrier four in much weaker company and Hall jnr did not bustle him early when the gelding raced three and four wide over the first 500m before getting to the front without undue pressure. After a comparatively slow lead time of 38.2sec., American Brave was not extended in dashing over the final four 400m sections in 29.8sec., 28.6sec., 27.6sec. and 28.6 to win by more than four lengths from Pradas Ideal Dahling, rating 1.55.4.

He led from barrier No. 1 two starts before that and sprinted over the final quarters in 28sec. and 26.8sec. to win by more than eight lengths from Jack William, rating 1.55.6 over 2130m.

A winner at five of his 12 starts in New Zealand, American Brave has won at three of his six starts in Western Australia. He is by American Ideal, who is also the sire of up-and-coming star Mighty Conqueror, a winner at 15 of his 23 starts, including the Four-Year-Old Championship and Easter Cup last season when he also finished a short half-head second to stablemate Ana Malak in the Golden Nugget championship.

Mighty Conqueror had a tough run from barrier seven in the 2569m Bunbury Cup last Saturday week when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before finishing fourth behind Handsandwheels.

Caviar Star, a stablemate of American Brave, will be driven by Stuart McDonald from barrier No. 3 in Friday night’s race. He is sure to be prominent after his fast-finishing victory over Speed Man and Gotta Go Gabbana last Friday week.

The Debra Lewis-trained Bill Haley is a brilliant sit-sprinter who is capable of a bold effort from barrier six, while the return to racing of the Mike Reed-trained speedster Golden State after a five-month absence will add considerable interest to the event. Golden State, blessed with dazzling gate speed, will start from the outside barrier in the field of nine with Michael Grantham in the sulky.

Hall Jnr will drive the Nathan Turvey-trained Simba Bromac in the 2536m Zippay It At Retravision Pace in which he will clash with smart pacers from Gary Hall senior’s Serpentine stable in Ideal Liner (Maddison Brown) and Zennart (Lauren Jones). Simba Bromac impressed last Friday night when he surged home strongly from fifth at the bell to be a head second to Our Corelli over 2536m.

Another exciting clash looks assured in the Pace in which last season’s WA Pacing Cup winner Rocknroll Lincoln will resume after a spell and will clash with Handsandwheels, Vultan Tin, Our Corelli, Speed Man and Waylade.