Keys Hoping for a Birthday Gift

Astute Herne Hill trainer Kevin Keys has high hopes of celebrating his 71st birthday with a victory by his speedy six-year-old Dominate The Dojo in the Ramsays Horse Transport Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Dominate The Dojo is ideally drawn at barrier two in the field of seven and he looks certain to lead for reinsman Ryan Warwick. He has set the pace from barriers six and three at his past two starts before wilting to finish a close third behind Highroller Joe and Our Rhythm N Blues over 1730m and second to The Midas Touch over 2130m.

He meets inferior overall opposition this week and though he has a poor winning record of eight per cent (five wins from 66 starts) he should be capable of holding his six rivals at bay.

The Ross Olivieri-trained pair of Carrera Mach and Frostyflyer appear his chief rivals, with Tuas Delight (who boasts a losing sequence of 29) having some hope from the coveted No. 1 barrier.

Carrera Mach is a smart four-year-old who will be driven by Chris Lewis from the outside barrier. He has been unplaced at his two starts since resuming after a brief spell and is capable of considerable improvement. He has raced 30 times for seven wins, nine seconds and two thirds.

Byford trainer Robert Flannery has The Midas Touch racing in fine style and the five-year-old looks a star bet from the No. 2 barrier in the final event, the 2536m Fresh Express Pace. Shannon Suvaljko will be aiming to get to an early lead and then dictate terms.

The Midas Touch was far from disgraced last Friday night when he raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before finishing a 5m second to the pacemaker Three Bears, who impressed greatly at his first appearance for 27 months. The Midas Touch fought on doggedly when Three Bears sprinted over the final two quarters in 28sec. and 27.9sec.

The John Ellis-trained Black Jack Zac could prove the hardest for The Midas Touch to beat. Black Jack Zac (Kyle Harper) impressed last Friday night when he finished strongly from sixth at the bell to win from Our Rhythm N Blues over 2536m.

Considerable interest will surround the return to racing of the highly promising Space Junk in the Milne Feeds Made For WA Pace. The lightly-raced five-year-old has been given a strong preparation by trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak is bullish about the gelding’s winning prospects.

Space Junk, who has won at 11 of his 21 starts, will be having is first start for ten months. He has made a full recovery from a fractured pelvis.