Carter Micheal Worth Another Chance
Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr is seriously contemplating a chance of tactics behind consistent pacer Carter Micheal when he drives the six-year-old from barrier five in the 2130m Christmas Sundowner Packages Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night and his advice to punters is to overlook the horse’s fourth placing last week.
“He might have looked a bit disappointing,” Hall said. “But they went ridiculous time (with final quarters of 28.4sec., 29.1sec., 28.1sec. and 27.4sec.) after we had burnt out hard from the outside (barrier eight) to get a good spot.”
With Major Pocket scorching along in front Carter Micheal enjoyed an ideal trail in the one-out, one-back position, but just battled on in the home straight to finish three lengths from the winner who rated a brilliant 1.52.6 over the 1730m journey.
“It was a catch 22 situation,” Hall explained. “We got a good spot but paid the price for the early burn. He’s probably better when you don’t use him out of the gate like that. We’ll probably try to slot him in on Friday night and see where we end up.”
Carter Micheal, trained by Nathan Turvey, is a consistent performer who has had 63 starts for 16 wins, 14 seconds and eight thirds. His past 11 starts have produced two wins, three seconds, three thirds and three fourths.
The John Ellis-trained Black Jack Zac has a losing sequence of seven but looks very hard to beat from the prized No. 1 barrier, with Kyle Harper in the sulky. He possesses good gate speed, but is certainly not a noted frontrunner, with all his eight wins from 59 starts coming in races in which he has produced a spirited finishing burst.
Marquisard, a five-year-old prepared by Craig Abercromby, is capable of a bold showing at his second outing after a spell and following his first-up 12th behind Mighty Flying Deal at odds of 125/1. He is a speedy beginner and Chris Lewis could well try to steal a march on his rivals by bursting to the front in the early stages.
Hall had no hesitation in declaring the best of his winning chances on the ten-event program was the inexperienced Raging Bull four-year-old Wildwest in the Melbourne Cup Luncheon Pace in which the New Zealand-bred gelding will start from the inside of the back line.
Wildwest, trained by Gary Hall Snr and a leading candidate for the rich classic for four-year-olds in the coming months, has not been extended in win at his only five starts one in New Zealand and four in WA.
“His work has been really good, and this is not a particularly strong field,” said Hall Jnr. “If it was a stronger field I might have elected to stay on the pegs. But here I’ll be looking to come off the inside as soon as I can.”
Hall is also bullish about the prospects of Overboard Again in the eighth event in which the seven-year-old is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line. Overboard Again impressed with his first-up second to Mighty Flying Deal last Friday night when he raced three wide in thee first lap and then without cover.
“It’s a winnable race for him because of where he has drawn,” he said. “I’ve got options and he should improve a lot on last week’s performance.”