It's Time for Major Trojan

Star three-year-olds Major Trojan and Eloquent Mach will clash for the fifth time in a race when they contest the $50,000 The Binshaw Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night and the stage is set for Major Trojan to assert his supremacy over his classy stablemate.

Eloquent Mach surprisingly has proved the master in the past, having beaten Major Trojan three times, in the Battle of Bunbury, a WA Derby prelude and the Western Gateway Classic earlier this year before finishing eighth behind Major Trojan in the WA Derby early last April.

Champion trainer Gary Hall Snr has produced both pacers in superb condition after autumn spells, with Major Trojan winning convincingly at two starts and Eloquent Mach scoring easy wins in three standing-start events, over 2096m, 3309m and 2503m. 

Hall makes no secret that he considers Major Trojan a much better pacer than Eloquent Mach, who has had 19 starts for ten wins, five seconds and one third, with Stuart McDonald handling the gelding at his past 15 starts for nine wins, four seconds, one third and one eighth placing.

Eloquent Mach fared the better in the random draw and will have many admirers from his favourable barrier at No. 2 on the front line, whereas Major Trojan, to be handled by brilliant reinsman Gary Hall Jnr, is somewhat awkwardly drawn on the inside of the back line, with two runners on his outside.

There is little doubt that Hall will be desperately keen to manoeuvre Major Trojan away from the pegs as quickly as possible in a bid to prevent the very real possibility of being smothered up on the inside.

Eloquent Mach is not noted for sparkling gate speed, but he is capable of mustering plenty of early pace. If he fails to get to an early lead, he is sure to race in a prominent, forward position. Polemarker The Midas Touch possesses good gate speed, Dominate The Dojo (barrier three) is a brilliant beginner. Four Starzzz Forsa (barrier four), Three Bears (five) and Convert Denario (seven) also have excellent gate speed.

Major Trojan, a leading candidate for the rich Golden Nugget championship in December, and Eloquent Mach are the only three-year-olds in Friday night’s Group 2 feature event and they should produce a quinella result.

Lightly-raced five-year-old Convert Denario, trained by Clint Hall and to be driven by champion reinsman Chris Lewis, is in excellent form and boasts a splendid record of ten wins and five placings from 20 starts. He took the lead after 650m and set a brisk pace before winning easily from Infinite Symbol at a 1.57.2 rate over 2130m last Friday night. That followed his strong effort a week earlier when he led and finished a head second to Handsandwheels at a 1.55.6 rate over 2130m.

With Lewis choosing to drive Dominate The Dojo, Herne Hill trainer Kevin Keys has engaged Dylan Egerton-Green to handle the six-year-old. Egerton-Green has driven Dominate The Dojo only once 13 starts ago for an all-the-way win over 1730m last March. Busselton trainer Barry Howlett has engaged Chris Voak to handle Three Bears, who impressed when he sprinted the final quarter in 27.1sec. to win a 2185m trial from Cott Beach at Pinjarra on Sunday morning.

Byford trainer Tony Svilicich has engaged Mark Reed to drive Four Starzzz Forsa for the first time in a race. Reed will be the ninth reinsman to have driven the gelding in 30 starts in Western Australia.