Lewis Poised for Eighth Victory

Eight-time WA leading trainer Ross Olivieri and Hall of Fame reinsman Chris Lewis have formed a powerful combination over the past 35 years and they are poised to record another Group 1 success by winning the $100,000 WA Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies at Gloucester park on Friday night.

They have teamed together for wins in this feature event with Parthenon (1994), Backin A Jiffy (2000) and Hindu Sitara (2003), and for good measure Lewis has also been successful behind Miss Booth (1991), Amongst Royalty (2006), Fidelius Charm (2008) and Tenniele Erin (2017).

This week Olivieri and Lewis (who have combined for 21 Group 1 successes) will join forces with brilliant filly Double Expresso, who looks outstanding from barrier four.

“She is a very laid-back filly and the fastest two-year-old I have ever trained,” declared a confident Olivieri. Double Expresso has not been extended in scoring effortless victories at Bunbury and Gloucester Park. She raced wide early and then in the breeze before winning in 1.57.3 by three lengths from Sports Package. The final quarters were run in 28.1sec. and 27.4sec.

Then Double Expresso, from barrier seven, raced wide early before taking the lead after 550m and rating 1.55.7 in beating Brave Lady by just under four lengths in a 1730m qualifying heat at Gloucester Park.

Double Expresso, bred by Kevin and Annette Charles, was sold for $22,000 at the 2018 APG yearling sale in Perth. She is by American stallion Sweet Lou and is out of the Rich And Spoilt mare Here For The Money.

Here For The Money raced 79 times for seven wins (three at Bunbury, three at Narrogin and one at Pinjarra) and 18 placings for earnings of $81,874. She was placed at nine of her 38 starts at Gloucester Park.

Here For The Money finished second to Soho Cannes in the 2011 Sales Classic for two-year-old fillies and Double Expresso should go one better in the classic this week.

She is owned by Olivieri’s wife Jemma Hayman in partnership with first-time owners Brian Miller, Roslyn Carbon and her brother Peter Carbon, a top-flight golfer from the Fremantle Golf Club who combined with his brother Glenn to win the Australian foursomes title many years ago. Peter Carbon’s only involvement in harness racing was when he toiled as a penciller for good friend and on-course Gloucester Park bookmaker Brett Lenton, also many years ago.

Double Expresso’s rise to stardom revives wonderful memories of former star New South Wales pacing mare Wickawack. She traces her breeding back to the Lawrie Moulds-trained and driven Wickawack, who finished second to Redwin and to James Scott in the 1962 Interdominion championship series in Perth before being unplaced behind James Scott in the final.

Wickawack had a strong connection with WA pacing. Her dam Brunswick Girl’s first four foals were bred in WA and Brunswick Jack, Lawnwick, Comedian and Countess Brun were winners in WA in the 1950s.

The other heat winner in this year’s classic is $6500 yearling Moon Goddess, who revealed excellent gate speed from barrier seven for trainer-driver Ryan Bell before setting the pace and beating Major Think Twice at a 1.58.2 rate. Her gross time of 2min. 7sec. was considerably slower than the 2min. 4.4sec. recorded by Double Expresso.

Fifo, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, warmed up for the classic with an easy all-the-way win over 1684m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon. She is the first foal out of Major Flirt, who finished fourth behind Artistic Copper in the 2013 Sales Classic. Fifo, to be handled by Ryan Warwick, faces a tough task from barrier six.