It's Brennan's Turn
Ravenswood trainer Michael Brennan has prepared the runner-up in the Retravision Marathon Handicap three times in the past six years and he has high hopes of enjoying his first success in the testing 3309m feature event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
His two runners, Forgotten Highway and Rebel With A Grin, are in good form and should figure strongly in the finish.
Brennan’s main hope is the six-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding Forgotten Highway, who will start off the 20m mark with Michael Grantham in the sulky.
Grantham drove Brennan’s smart pacer The Bucket List when he ran on from twelfth in the middle stages to finish second to Motu Premier in the 2017 Marathon Handicap. Gary Hall jnr drove Brennan’s 4/1 chance Naughty Maravu when he set the pace and finished second to Our Jericho in the 2016 Marathon, and Justin Prentice finished second to Rocket Reign with Brennan’s runner This Time Dylan in 2014.
Forgotten Highway is an outstanding standing-start performer who has won in stands at each of his past three outings, over 2116m and 2631m at Pinjarra and over 2503m in the BOTRA Cup at Gloucester Park three Friday nights ago.
Forgotten Highway began brilliantly from the outside of the 10m line in the BOTRA Cup and burst to the front after 400m before setting the pace and scoring by a half-length from Im Rocknroll Magic. At his previous start he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to win by two lengths from Disco Under Fire at Pinjarra.
Four-year-old Rebel With A Grin ran on from seventh at the bell to finish a sound fourth for Hall in the BOTRA Cup. He is an experienced standing-start campaigner and will begin from the 10m mark on Friday night. Hall has won the Marathon Handicap with Im Themightyquinn (2010), Code Red (2012) and Runrunjimmydunn (2018).
Donegal Art Chokin, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old mare trained by Greg and Skye Bond, has excellent prospects. She will start from the outside (barrier six) on the front line and will be handled by Ryan Warwick.
She is a capable standing-start performer and a solid stayer, who won twice in stands, at Bunbury and Pinjarra, last month when she mustered good early speed to get to the front and set a solid pace. She was restrained from a wide barrier in a mobile event at Pinjarra last Monday week before finishing strongly from sixth at the bell to be third behind Be My Rock and Gold Horseshoe over 2185m.