Bettors Fire Poised to Lead and Win

Veteran pacer Bettors Fire fared the best in the random draw and trainer-reinsman Kyle Harper is set to attempt an all-the-way victory in the $25,000 Chinese New Year Fireworks Night Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The nine-year-old noted frontrunner is sure to start a short-priced favourite after drawing the coveted No. 1 barrier in the field of nine.

Bettors Fire, who led and won the Village Kid Sprint over 1730m from Soho Tribeca and Chicago Bull four starts ago, is certain to appreciate the absence of those star performers but he will have to contend with spirited opposition from Ohoka Punter and Norvic Nightowl, who are prepared by Gary Hall Snr and are racing with commendable spirit.

Gary Hall Jnr will drive Ohoka Punter from barrier four and Nathan Turvey will be in the sulky behind Norvic Nightowl, who is favourably drawn at barrier two.

Leading trainer Gary Hall Snr, who will be represented by Ohoka Punter, Norvic Nightowl, American Boy (barrier five) and Zach Maguire (eight), said: “Bettors Fire looks set to lead and Ohoka Punter will put it to him late and Norvic Nightowl will have the last crack at them.”

Bettors Fire was an 18/1 chance last Friday night when he began speedily from barrier three in the 2536m Lord Mayor’s Cup. He was in the breeze early before gaining a good passage in sixth position, one-out and two-back, before fighting on doggedly to finish fourth behind the brilliant Chicago Bull, Ohoka Punter and Master Jaxon. The final quarters whizzed by in 27.9sec. and 27.1sec.

Ohoka Punter started from the inside barrier last week and trailed the pacemaker Chicago Bull before finishing solidly. That extended his losing sequence to 16, but he is getting close to recording an overdue victory.

Forrestdale trainer Skye Bond has two runners in Friday night’s race Our Jimmy Johnstone (Ryan Warwick) and Delightful Offer (Colin Brown). However, their winning prospects diminished when they drew unfavourably at barriers six and nine, respectively.

Eight-year-old Heez On Fire will start from the No. 3 barrier at his first appearance for just over three months. He has won standing-start trials at Byford and Pinjarra late last month. However, he faces a tough first-up assignment.

Harper has high hopes of completing a double by driving the James Sortras-trained Mon Lillies to victory in the final event on the ten-event program, the second heat of the Book Into The Beau Rivage Pace over 2130m.

Mon Lillies is ideally drawn at barrier one in a field of seven and Harper is sure to use her sparkling gate speed in a bid to set the pace and go on and record the mare’s 14th victory.

Mon Lillies will need to be close to her best form to beat Better B Chevron (barrier six) and Madame Meilland (No. 3). Better B Chevron impressed with her smart all-the-way win over Runrunjimmydunn in the 1780m Village Kid Sprint at Northam last Saturday night.

That was Better B Chevron’s ninth win from 12 starts in Western Australia. She has won at her past four appearances at Gloucester Park. The New South Wales-bred former Victorian performer Madame Meilland is also in splendid form, with her ten starts this season producing five wins, two seconds and two thirds.