American Brave Resumes
Fifteen months ago, the highly-regarded New Zealand-bred gelding American Brave broke down when having his second start in a race in Australia and harness racing fans are anxiously awaiting his return to action when he contests the Smallgoods Special Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
American Brave fractured his off hind leg, a spiral fracture above the hock, in the race in which he finished sixth behind Our Corelli at Gloucester Park in August 2018. That followed his Australian debut a month earlier when he started from barrier eight, raced wide early and then set the pace before winning by seven and a half lengths from Parisian Partygirl.
“He has been in work for quite a while, but he’s still very big,” said champion trainer Gary Hall Snr. “So, he will be underdone and has drawn out wide. But he’s a class horse and hopefully his class will get him through. He is definitely going to improve with the run.”
Hall is also looking for a forward showing from King of Swing, the lone back-line runner in the Mondo Doro Cup over 2130m. The five-year-old, a winner at 18 of his 46 starts, gave a fighting display last Friday week when second to Walkinshaw in a fast-run 2130m event.
King of Swing challenged hard, but unsuccessfully, for the early lead and then worked hard in the breeze before getting to the front 550m from home and then being swamped by Walkinshaw, who had enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back.
Friday night’s event will see the return to action of the highly dependable Im Soxy, who was a credit to his Bunbury trainer Brian Clemens when he raced 34 times last season for six wins, eight seconds and ten thirds. Im Soxy will be driven by Ryan Warwick from the prized No. 1 barrier. He is a good frontrunner who should prove hard to beat in an even field.
The Ray Williams-trained Major Pocket will have many admirers from his favourable draw at barrier two. The six-year-old will be handled for the first time by Dylan Egerton-Green who replaces Aldo Cortopassi, who has driven the horse at his past 28 starts for six wins, ten seconds and four thirds. Cortopassi was committed to driving his own nomination Roman Aviator, who is awkwardly drawn out wide at barrier seven.
Major Pocket maintained his excellent form when he had a tough run in the breeze before getting up to snatch victory in a three-way photo finish from Carter Micheal and Mighty Santana. He rated 1.55.7 over the 2130m trip.