Ideal Liner on Trial for Big Races

Promising five-year-old Ideal Liner will be on trial for a start in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup when he contests the $22,000 Retravision Pace over 2536m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

An impressive victory would enhance his prospects of being selected in the rich Group 1 feature events.

Ideal Liner, prepared by master trainer Gary Hall Snr and to be driven by champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, has raced only 19 times for 11 wins and five placings and he looks extremely hard to beat on Friday night from the prized No. 1 barrier.

“He’ll be nominated for the Cups,” said Hall Jnr. “Obviously, he will need to win on Friday night to have a chance of being chosen to race in the Cups. I think that the way he is going, he should win this week. He should hold up from barrier one and set the pace, and the 2536m will be in his favour.

“He has shown gradual improvement at his five runs in this campaign. I thought he went pretty good last Friday night when he worked pretty hard to get to the breeze and then hold on for third behind Im Full of Excuses. He’s not a role player in the big ones (Cups), but he’s an earner with the right draws.”

Two starts ago, last Friday week, Ideal Liner began from barrier seven and settled in last position in a field of nine before sustaining a strong three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Our Jimmy Johnstone and Whozideawasthis in a fast-run 1730m event. A week earlier he was an easy all-the-way winner from Simba Bromac over 2536m.

Western Australia’s star pacers will be challenged in the major summer feature events at Gloucester Park by two outstanding horses from Sydney My Field Marshal and Alta Orlando.

My Field Marshal, trained by Tim Butt, resumed racing after a lengthy spell with an excellent first-up second to Alta Orlando in a 2300m group 3 Free-For-All at Menangle on December 14. And then he finished fourth behind Alta Orlando in the group 2 Shirley Turnbull Memorial at Bathurst on Boxing Day.

My Field Marshal, who has had 66 starts for 26 wins, 22 placings and stakes of $1,373,612, shone at the Gloucester Park summer carnival 12 months ago when he won the Village Kid Sprint and the Fremantle Cup (beating Galactic Star and Vultan Tin) before finishing fourth behind Rocknroll Lincoln in the WA Pacing Cup.

Luke McCarthy trains Alta Orlando, who has raced 69 times for 15 wins, 21 placings and $446,607 in prizemoney. He was an outstanding juvenile performer in New Zealand, winning two rich feature events at Addington as a two-year-old.

After having 57 starts in New Zealand for 11 wins and 17 placings Alta Orlando was sent to Australia where he had three starts at Brisbane’s Albion Park in July this year for seconds to Self Assured in a group 3 Free-For-All and to Colt Thirty One in the group 1 Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship over 2680m.

Since then, he has won three times in New South Wales. Two starts ago he won a group 3 Free-For-All at Menangle, beating My Field Marshal and Tiger Tara, and at his latest appearance he won the Turnbull memorial at Bathurst.