Balcatherine Does it Tough

Four-year-old New Zealand-bred pacer Balcatherine warmed up in fine style for the $125,000 Westral Mares Classic next Friday night with a powerful performance in the 2130m Retravision, Your Fujitsu Air Conditioning Specialist Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The victory was a just reward for the aggression shown by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, who set Balcatherine the daunting task of pouring on the pressure on the pacemaker and $1.95 favourite Somebeachparty throughout the race.

Somebeachparty was smartest into stride from barrier four, and Hall wasted no time from out wide at barrier eight to ensure that Somebeachparty, driven by Emily Suvaljko for Busselton trainer Barry Howlett, was able to have an easy time in front.

With Balcatherine challenging Somebeachparty for ascendancy in the early stages, the lead time was a fast 36.8sec. before the four quarters of the final mile whizzed by in 29sec., 28.9sec., 27.9sec. and 28.7sec., with the mile rate a slick 1.54.3.

The two mares were locked together in a titanic struggle over the final 400m before Balcatherine drew clear in the closing stages to win by a head. Angel In White, a $13 chance who trailed the pacemaker all the way, finished a sound third.

Hall was well aware of Somebeachparty’s ability, having driven her three times for three wins.

“I know she is pretty classy, and I knew that I had to put it to her,” said Hall. “Balcatherine is tough and I was pleasantly surprised the way she performed after doing all that work in the breeze.”

This was Balcatherine’s third start after resuming from a spell and she now has had 16 starts for eight wins, four placings and $95,638 in prizemoney. The win completed a treble for Hall and a double for trainer Gary Hall Snr.