Hall Picks Mister Bushido
Champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has driven Our Rhythm N Blues to fighting second placings behind Pradas Ideal Dahling and Runaway Three on the past two Friday nights, but he has opted to handle stablemate Mister Bushido in the 2536m Retravision Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
This decision comes as a strong pointer to Mister Bushido’s winning prospects. The New Zealand-bred seven-year-old, trained by Gary Hall Snr, is in splendid form and has drawn favourably at barrier two on the front line.
Stuart McDonald will drive Our Rhythm N Blues, who will start from the outside of the back line. The six-year-old is a solid stayer, who has a losing sequence of 17. But those 17 runs have included eight second placings, four of them over 2536m.
Mister Bushido ended a losing run of 14 when he raced in the one-out, three-back position before finishing strongly to beat Runaway Three and The Black Cardinal over 2536m five Tuesdays ago.
Five-year-old One For Dave Andme, trained and driven by Corey Peterson, has managed just four wins from 83 starts. But his recent form, including a fast-finishing win over 2569m at Bunbury three starts ago, is encouraging, and he is certainly capable of fighting out the finish.
One of the most keenly contested events promises to be race eight, the $16,000 Simmonds Steel Pace over 2130m, in which Bletchley Park (barrier No. 7), Bettor Be Oscar (eight) and Kingslayer (nine) will dominate betting.
Bletchley Park, trained in Bunbury by Stephen Reed, will be driven Dylan Egerton-Green, who has handled the talented four-year-old only once in his 29-start career of 12 wins, eight seconds and two thirds. That was 23 starts ago on July 6, 2018 when he started from barrier seven and raced in the one-out, two-back position before finishing boldly to win from Franco Edward in a Golden Slipper prelude.
Bletchley Park, driven by Mark Johnson, impressed last Friday night when he surged home from eighth at the bell to win convincingly from Valbonne at a 1.56.9 rate over 2130m. He will need to be on top of his game to defy expected spirited challenges from Bettor Be Oscar and Kingslayer.
Bettor Be Oscar, trained and driven by Aiden de Campo, won three in a row before finishing an excellent fourth behind Saleahs Comand over 1730m last Friday night after starting out wide at barrier eight and running home powerfully from ninth at the bell.
Kingslayer, prepared by leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond, has been freshened up since he led from barrier one and won from Valbonne over 2130m four weeks ago. The New Zealand-bred six-year-old has an impressive record of 27 starts for 12 wins and six placings.