Kiwi Bloke Ready for City Debut

Kiwi Bloke, a slow developer who was unplaced at his first 15 starts in New Zealand, has blossomed over the past 12 months and looks set for a strong effort at his debut at Gloucester Park when he contests the Westral Venetian And Honeycomb Blinds Handicap.

The comparatively inexperienced six-year-old has developed into a reliable standing-start specialist, with five of his six wins coming in stands.

His final seven starts in New Zealand produced two wins (in stands), two seconds and one third and he has had five starts in Western Australia for Oakford trainer Ross Olivieri and reinsman Chris Voak for four wins (three in stands) and one third placing.

At his most recent outing, at Pinjarra last Monday week, Kiwi Bloke broke for just one stride soon after the start before dashing to the front after 150m and setting a solid pace to win by three lengths from Burning Shadows, with slick final quarters in 27.5sec. and 27.6sec.

Kiwi Bloke is by Courage Under Fire out of the Falcon Seelster mare A Good Kiwi Chick, who raced nine times for four wins, one placings and $15,897. A Good Kiwi Chick’s claim to fame is that she is a half-sister to Kiwi Ingenuity (by Christian Cullen), who amassed $516,821 in stakes from 11 wins and eight placings from 27 starts. She was a brilliant three and four-year-old and at her only Australian start she finished fourth behind Monkey King in the Miracle Mile at Menangle in November 2009.

The clash between Kiwi Bloke and Always An Honour should be a highlight of the 11-event program. Always An Honour, a New Zealand-bred four-year-old, is trained by Justin Prentice and will be driven by Gary Hall Jnr. He is also a standing-start specialist, with five starts in stands producing four wins and a third placing.

At his most recent outing, Always An Honour dashed over the final 400m sections in 27.9sec. and 28.8sec. to win a 2503m stand at Bunbury on November 16 by more than nine lengths.

Adding interest to Friday night’s race will be the return to racing after a ten-month absence of the Ross Olivieri-trained Jimmy Mack, who will start off the 10m mark with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Jimmy Mack warmed up for this assignment when he set the pace and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.7sec. and 27.8sec. in winning a 2116 standing-start trial by eight lengths from Packed Carefully on Sunday morning.