Chance for Mad Robber

Veteran pacer Mad Robber was a 100/1 outsider last Friday night, but will be at a much shorter quote when he begins from the prized No. 1 barrier in the 2536m Murdoch Jones Realty Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The New South Wales-bred eight-year-old, trained by Gary Hall Snr, will be handled by Gary Hall Jnr who is likely to attempt an all-the-way victory.

Mad Robber started from the outside of the back line last week and he was last in the field of 12 at the bell before sprouting wings over the concluding stages to finish an eye-catching fifth behind Eloquent Mach in the group 2 Binshaw Pace over 2130m.

One of his main rivals looms as Smoldering Ashes, who will start from the inside of the back line and should gain an ideal passage behind the likely pacemaker Mad Robber. Early this week star reinsman Aiden de Campo took over the training of Smoldering Ashes from his father Andrew.

“This is a good draw for him and the distance suits,” said Aiden de Campo. “He should get a good run behind Mad Robber and so he’s in with a chance of a top three placing. I have been concentrating on driving this season, but as you get older you have got to start training a couple to ensure longevity in the sport.

“With me taking over the training of Smoldering Ashes it’s something different for him and I’ll see if I can liven him up before he has to go for a spell.”

The ultra-consistent five-year-old Major Pocket, trained at Mt Helena by Ray Williams, will be strongly fancied, despite his awkward draw at barrier seven. Since resuming from a spell Major Pocket was a first-up third behind Saying Grace before recording seconds to Our Corelli, Simba Bromac, Major Trojan and Carter Micheal. He is overdue for a change of fortune for Williams and reinsman Aldo Cortopassi.     

Williams and Cortopassi will join forces again later in the program when Walkinshaw resumes after a spell in the 2130m Book Your Next Conference at Gloucester Park Pace.

Walkinshaw will receive stiff opposition from in-form pacers Carter Micheal and Speed Man, but will still be hard to beat following his excellent win in a 2150m trial at Byford on Sunday morning when he dashed to an early lead and set a solid pace on his way to a convincing win over Mr Mohito and Motu Premier, rating 1.57.3 with a final 800m in 56.6sec. Cortopassi did not release the ear plugs as the stallion went to the line full of running.

One of the highlights of the ten-event program will be the clash between talented three-year-olds Robbie Easton (barrier six), The Bird Dance (seven), Bettor Be Oscar (eight) and Bletchley Park (nine) in the Follow Gloucester Park On Facebook Pace.

Robbie Easton and Bletchley Park impressed with convincing victories at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night, The Bird Dance has not been extended in winning at his first two WA starts after winning at two of his five starts in New Zealand and Better Be Oscar notched his seventh win when he finished strongly to score at Bunbury last Saturday night.