Brown Double on the Cards

Outstanding concession driver Maddison Brown has formed a strong and successful association with four-year-old pacer Highly Flammable and ten-year-old trotter Lord Liam and she has high hopes of landing a double with them in the first and final events at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

“I’ve got the horses to do that,” she said after guiding Highly Flammable to a decisive three-length victory over Mondooley Mach over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday afternoon.

“Hopefully, Highly Flammable can repeat what he’s done tonight, and that’s to get to the front and set the pace. He hasn’t been showing great gate speed, but tonight I just revved him up a bit more in the preliminary and he came out really good. He can switch off, with the hood, but when I got up him, he ran away from them.”

Highly Flammable was not extended and impressed with the ease in which he dashed over the final three quarters in 29.8sec., 28.9sec. and 28.5sec. to win at a 1.58.4 rate. That followed a win and a close second at his two previous starts getting to the lead early from barrier six and winning by four lengths from Northview Orator over 2536m and then racing wide early and in the breeze before finishing a half-neck second to My Master of Disguise at a 1.56.6 rate over 1730m.

Brown has driven Highly Flammable at his past nine starts for three wins, three seconds, one third and two fourths and trainer Gary Hall Snr said: “He’s getting better with every run. He had a leg injury and we had to turn him out when he got big in condition. It has taken a long time to get him fully fit.”

Hardest for Highly Flammable to beat is likely to be the John Oldroyd-trained Lightning Jolt, who will be driven by Chris Voak from barrier four. The seven-year-old has a losing sequence of ten, but his recent efforts, including a last-start fourth behind Bletchley Park, have been quite encouraging.

Waroona trainer Bob Mellsop has Lord Liam, a veteran of 89 starts for 29 wins and  29 placings, in superb form, with Brown guiding him to impressive wins at each of his past six starts for a combined winning margin of 49.7m, an average winning margin of 8.2m.

Lord Liam set the pace from barrier five when an easy winner from Diamond Geezer over 2100m at Bunbury at his most recent outing, five weeks ago.

“Bob has given him a freshen-up and the horse has the gate speed if you need to use it. I’ll see what Bob wants to do from the draw (barrier eight) in the 2536m race. Spud has drawn inside us, and he looks the main danger.”

Spud, a seasoned veteran of 133 starts for 17 wins and 36 placings, has flourished under the care of trainer-reinsman Kim Prentice and has won in fine style at his first two starts in Western Australia. He raced without cover before beating Diamond Geezer in a 2631m stand at Pinjarra at his latest appearance and before that he finished strongly to beat Lifes Delight in a 2096m stand at Gloucester Park.

Hall Snr is hoping for strong efforts from Robb Stark and Overboard Again, who will be resuming after spells on Friday night. Five-year-old Robb Stark, resuming after a two-and-a half-month absence, is awkwardly drawn at barrier seven in the Retravision Pace in which stablemate The Arsonist has drawn perfectly at barrier one and impressive last-start winner Our Perkins will be strongly fancied from the No. 2 draw.

“The barrier draw is against Robb Stark, but he’s still a chance,” said Hall. “He’s had a few little problems, including an infection in his lungs. But we’ve cleared all that up. He’s working well and he should be in the mix, even from barrier seven.”

Seven-year-old Overboard Again will be having his first start since April when he begins out wide at barrier eight in the Intersport Slater Gartrell Pace over 2536m.A winner at 12 of his 41 starts, Overboard Again has not appeared since he finished a good second to stablemate Herrick Roosevelt over 2130m at Gloucester Park on April 26.

“If he had drawn a favourable barrier, he probably would’ve won,” said Hall. “But from out there, he will need some luck.”