Hall dominates Lord Mayor's Cup

Champion trainer Gary Hall sen. is poised to notch his eighth victory in the $50,000 Worldwide Printing Lord Mayor’s Cup at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

He will be represented by five of the ten runners and has no hesitation in declaring that outstanding five-year-old Chicago Bull will be the horse to beat in the group 2 feature to be run over 2536m.  

Chicago Bull is ideally drawn at barrier two on the front line and star reinsman Gary Hall jun. is aiming for an all-the-way triumph.

“That’s the plan,” said Hall sen. “Stablemate Ohoka Punter will start from barrier one and Stuart McDonald will be told to hand over which will be in Ohoka Punter’s best interests and give him his best winning chance.”

Hall said that he considered that Kyle Harper was likely to make a bid for the early lead with the speedy beginner Bettors Fire from the No. 3 barrier. However, he said that he was confident that Chicago Bull had the natural speed to withstand an early challenge from Bettors Fire.

Remarkably, Chicago Bull goes into Friday night’s Cup with a losing sequence of four --- the longest losing run in his 39 starts in Western Australia which have produced 25 wins, five seconds, eight thirds and one fourth.

Chicago Bull, who won twice from seven starts in New Zealand, has been outstanding in defeat at his past four starts which resulted in a second to Lazarus in the final of the TABtouch Interdominion championship, third to Bettors Fire and Soho Tribeca in the Village Kid Sprint, third to My Hard Copy and Lazarus in the Fremantle Cup and second to Soho Tribeca in the WA Pacing Cup.

“He’s probably an over-achiever, an insignificant little horse,” said Hall. “And he’s got a terrific record.”

Hall’s previous successes in the Lord Mayor’s Cup have been with Tricky Bey (1994), Abit Rich (1997), Live To Reign (2007), Talk To Me Courage (2010), Livingontheinterest (2014), Northview Punter (2015) and Cyamach (2016). And for good measure he has had four second-placed runners in the Lord Mayor’s Cup --- Our London Pride (2000), Aussie Reactor (2012), Im Themightyquinn (2013) and Hokonui Ben (2014).

Hall jun. has driven one winner of the Lord Mayor’s Cup --- when 10/9 favourite Live To Reign began speedily off 10m and made most of the running to beat Demoralizer by just under two lengths when the Cup was last run from a standing start. The past four Lord Mayor’s Cups have been decided over 2130m, but this year the race will be run over 2536m.

Apart from Chicago Bull and Ohoka Punter, the Hall stable will be represented on Friday night by Norvic Nightowl (Nathan Turvey), American Boy (Lauren Jones) and My Hard Copy (Clint Hall).

“Barrier nine is a stumbling block for My Hard Copy, but he is in top form, having won at three of his five starts in his current campaign,” Hall sen. said. “His two unplaced runs were when he was held up for a run and I’m sure he will go well this week.”

My Hard Copy, an equine millionaire like Chicago Bull and Ohoka Punter, maintained his wonderful form when he enjoyed the perfect sit, one-out and one-back, before sprinting home fast to win the 2536m Duffy Memorial from the pacemaker Vultan Tin and Norvic Nightowl. My Hard Copy rated 1.56.3, with the final quarters in 27.5sec. and 28.9sec.

Norvic Nightowl (barrier five) and Vultan Tin (six) have to contend with awkward draws, but they are racing keenly and have place prospects.

Abraxas Blues (Kim Prentice) and Argyle Red (Morgan Woodley) are comparative newcomers to group racing and they face a difficult assignment. Prentice has driven the winner of the Lord Mayor’s Cup with Livingontheinterest and Cyamach and Woodley has won the race with Taihape Tickler (2006), Mysta Magical Mach (2009), Another One For Me (2012) and Mysta Magical Mach (2013).