Herrick Roosevelt Loves to Lead
Smart, lightly-raced six-year-old Herrick Roosevelt will begin his summer campaign and his preparation for the Fremantle and WA Pacing Cups when he resumes after a four-month absence in the $25,000 NYE At Gloucester Park Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
The New Zealand-bred Christian Cullen gelding will start from the prized No. 1 barrier and Gary Hall Jnr will be anxious to set the pace and dictate the tempo of the 2130m event.
Herrick Roosevelt is a noted frontrunner, who has started from the No. 1 barrier five times (all over 2130m) in his 36 starts for four all-the-way victories, rating 1.57.4, 1.56.8, 1.54.9 and 1.54.3 and a fading sixth behind Handsandwheels in the $50,000 RWWA Cup last February when he set the pace and wilted after being softened up when strongly challenged by Vultan Tin in the first lap.
Herrick Roosevelt has not been produced in recent trials, but champion trainer Gary Hall snr takes great pride in producing his pacers in excellent condition for their first-up assignments.
He will again clash with Vultan Tin, who is in top form for Coolup trainer Phil Costello. Vultan Tin will start out wide at barrier eight and there is every chance that Chris Voak will adopt similar tactics as he employed last Friday night when the tough eight-year-old started from barrier nine and settled down in last position before charging forward after a lap to move to the breeze and apply pressure on the pacemaker.
Vultan Tin overhauled the pacemaker Rocknroll Lincoln 250m from home and went on to win by just over a length from the fast-finishing Handsandwheels. The final three quarters whizzed by in 28.3sec., 27.8sec. and 27.9sec. and Vultan Tin rated 1.54.5.
Herrick Roosevelt will also have to contend with several smart and in-form pacers including the Greg and Skye Bond-trained pair of Galactic Star and El Jacko, Motu Premier and Bill Haley.
Galactic Star will start from the outside barrier (No. 9) but cannot be underestimated. He notched his 26th victory from 65 starts last Friday week when he raced without cover over the final 1300m and won by a neck from Vultan Tin, who charged home from last at the bell in the field of eight.
Leading reinsman Ryan Warwick will again handle Galactic Star, with Dylan Egerton-Green taking the reins behind El Jacko, the solitary back-line runner who should enjoy a perfect passage behind Herrick Roosevelt.
Mitch Miller has been engaged by trainer Ross Olivieri to drive Motu Premier, with Voak choosing to stick with Vultan Tin. Voak handled Motu Premier when the seven-year-old won a 2185m trial in grand style at Pinjarra on Sunday morning when unwound a spirited finishing burst to beat stablemate Madame Meilland, with final quarters in 28.4sec. and 27.2sec.
The Debra Lewis-trained Bill Haley is handily drawn at barrier No. 3 and should be prominent. A winner at seven of his past 11 starts, Bill Haley was an unlucky sixth behind Talktomeurmattjesty last Friday night when he met with interference 400m from home.