Cup Hopefuls Strutt Their Stuff

Rising talent Saying Grace has come up with the ace draw in the JP's Sportsbar 3YO + Pace, the third event on a stellar card of harness racing this Friday night at Gloucester Park.

He has won at his previous three runs, showing an astonishing turn of foot on each occasion to secure victory.

The American Ideal five-year-old gelding will look to repeat his last-start performance where he was able to lead all the way over the 2130m trip.

This is the stiffest opposition he has met since crossing the Tasman, but he looks up to the task - and the clock backs that up.

He recorded a 1:56.7 mile rate last Friday, getting home in a blistering 27.7 final quarter. He was eased up approaching the winning post and the deafeners were still firmly fixed.

Regular reinsman Ryan Warwick retains the drive and this looks a perfect opportunity for Saying Grace to shore up his stocks for next month’s Fremantle Pacing Cup and the WA Pacing Cup.

His seven opponents all possess well-credentialled records and must be respected.

Itz Bettor To Win, a sound fourth behind Our Max Phactor last week, will have the option to drop in behind Saying Grace at the start.

Rock Diamonds, stablemate to the polemarker, had an unfortunate trip last outing and will be a likely improver this week. The same can be said of Kiwi Legend to his immediate outside, who suffered from gear problems first-up off a 20-month layoff.

El Jacko  was gathered in late last time when leading and would need to lift to win.

Maczaffair, with champion reinsman Gary Hall Jr in the bike for the first time, and Waylade were both comfortably defeated by Rocknroll Lincoln last start.

They, along with Costa Del Magnifico, who was unable to run home last start in a lesser race, have the job ahead to defeat favourite and likely leader Saying Grace.