American Tour Impresses
Former Victorian performer American Tour was a 15/1 chance when she made her West Australian debut at Gloucester Park last Saturday night. But she will be at a much shorter quote when she contests the Chris Murphy Band Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Her winning prospects appear quite rosy after her impressive effort last Saturday when she was restrained to the rear from a wide barrier and was last in a field of ten with 550m to travel before sustaining a spirited three and four-wide burst to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Leap Of Faith.
Owned in Victoria by Susan Thistlethwaite and now trained at Serpentine by Clint Hall, the New Zealand-bred American Tour will again by handled by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, who is likely to take full advantage of an ideal barrier at No. 2 and attempt to set the pace.
American Tour possesses good gate speed and she led all the way in five of her nine wins at Mildura. Her other victory from 36 Victorian starts was on debut at Ouyen.
A strong pointer to American Tour’s chances was given by Lewis, who had the option of handling the Ross Olivieri-trained Dennis, a pacer he has handled at his past ten starts. Dennis, who will start from barrier eight, will be driven by Mitch Miller.
Olivieri’s best prospects in the race appear to rest with Salacious Gossip, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier two on the back line. Salacious Gossip led from barrier two when an easy winner over 2536m two starts ago before racing three back on the pegs and finishing a fair fifth behind Millwood Molly over 2130m last Friday night.
Voak has also given punters a valuable lead by choosing to handle the Annie Belton-trained Gotta Go Gabbana from barrier seven in the 2130m Thirsty Merc Live Pace in preference to Olivieri’s promising mare Queen Shenandoah.
Queen Shenandoah will be driven from barrier No. 3 by Chris Lewis, and after sound seconds at two of her past three starts is capable of figuring in the finish.
Gotta Go Gabbana is versatile and tough and Voak is expected to send her forward after a lap in a concerted effort to put plenty of pressure on the frontrunners. Gotta Go Gabbana was most impressive at her fourth outing after a spell when she started from the No. 1 barrier and gave a bold frontrunning display to score an easy victory over Our Alfie Romeo and Arma Indie in the group 1 Westral Mares Classic over 2536m last Friday week.
Our Alfie Romeo was superb in defeat after settling in seventh position and then working hard in the breeze. A winner at 16 of her 33 starts, she has the ability to overcome the disadvantage of starting from the outside barrier in the field of nine.
Miss Sangrial, trained by Michael Brennan, is likely to be a warm favourite on Friday night after drawing the prized No. 1 barrier. She raced without cover early and then was shuffled back to seventh at the bell before finishing gamely to be fifth behind Gotta Go Gabbana last Friday week.