Our Angel of Harlem Ready to Fire

Outstanding young mare Our Angel of Harlem is fit and ready for a strong first-up effort in the $22,000 Retravision Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Ace trainer Mike Reed was pleased with her impressive performance in a 2550m standing-start trial at Byford on Sunday morning when she began brilliantly, strode out boldly as she set the pace and sprinted over the final quarters in 28.1sec. and 28.5sec.

“She has now qualified to contest standing-start events and her main mission now is the Race For Roses, a stand over 2503m on May 3,” Reed said.

“She flew the stand in her trial and ran home in 56.6sec. It’s a big ask for her to win, first-up, but she is sure to go well this week, judged by the way she trialled. She pulled up a bit big and will improve on whatever she does.”

Mark Reed will have a few options when he drives Our Angel of Harlem from the No. 6 barrier in Friday night’s mobile event. The New Zealand-bred four-year-old is a dashing frontrunner and she led and won from favourable barriers at her two most recent runs, both over 2130m at Gloucester Park last December.

At her latest start she was untroubled to win by just over two lengths from Our Major Mama and Innocent Affair in the group 3 Coulson final on December 28. That improved her record to 30 starts for ten wins and nine placings for earnings of $192,154.

Several runners, including Our Angel of Harlem, will be solidly supported in Friday night’s event. New Zealand-bred mares Our Alfie Romeo and Eden Franco look set to fight out the finish, despite starting out wide at barriers eight and nine, respectively. And Rosies Ideal (barrier No. 4) and Lady De La Renta (No. 6) are in excellent form and have strong claims.

Four-year-old Our Alfie Romeo has won at 12 of her past 19 starts and is in splendid form. She started out wide at barrier eight in the 2536m Empress Stakes last Friday week when she raced wide early and then in the breeze before taking a narrow lead 400m from home and finishing a grand second, a head behind the fast-finishing Miss Sangrial, with a final quarter of 27.6sec.

Four days before that, Our Alfie Romeo dashed to an early lead, set the pace and finished second to Sarah Goody in the 1684m Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra. Our Alfie Romeo won at two her eight starts in New Zealand and has a marvellous record of 15 starts for ten wins and two seconds in Western Australia for leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond and leading reinsman Ryan Warwick.

Eden Franco, trained and driven by Colin Brown, cannot be underestimated, even from the outside barrier. She has had 35 starts for 14 wins, 11 seconds and four thirds. She is poised to bounce back to her best form at her third outing after a spell.

She was a hot favourite from barrier two in the Empress Stakes when she raced in the breeze for the first 550m before assuming the role of pacemaker. She battled on gamely when a close-up fourth behind Miss Sangrial.

Rosies Ideal and Lady De La Renta are in peak form, with the Shane Young trained and driven four-year-old Rosies Ideal notching her tenth victory from 23 starts when she settled in fifth position before dashing forward into the breeze after a lap and taking the lead on the home turn and winning from Miss Sangrial and Jasmin Amal over 2130m last Friday night.

The Annie Belton-trained Lady De La Renta, a winner at 12 of her 33 starts, impressed last Friday night when she settled down in ninth position and sustained a powerful three-wide burst to finish a neck second to As Happy As Larry.