Our Corelli in Dazzling Form

Hopeland trainer Debra Lewis has transformed Our Corelli into a giant killer who should continue on his winning ways by leading throughout in the $30,000 TABtouch York Cup over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Champion reinsman Chris Lewis will be looking forward to sending the lightly-raced five-year-old straight to the front from the perfect No. 1 barrier in the field of nine, adopting the same tactics from the same draw when Our Corelli simply toyed with the opposition in last week’s 1730m Free-For-All in which he beat Im Soxy by just under four lengths.

Our Corelli is proving a wonderful bargain for Mark Lewis, son of Debra and Chris. In nine starts for the Lewis family, Our Corelli has won six times and finished a half-head second in the space of nine weeks, earning $73,247.

Chris Lewis had no hesitation in electing to handle Our Corelli ahead of the Ross Olivieri-trained Mr Mojito, a smart pacer and winner of 13 races from 37 starts. Lewis has driven Mr Mojito at nine of his ten starts for Olivieri for two wins, two seconds and three fourths.

The seven-year-old Mr Mojito will be driven for the first time by Chris Voak and will start from the No. 5 barrier. He has had a winter spell since his most recent appearance, when a strong-finishing fourth behind Whozideawasthis and Handsandwheels on March 22.

Handsandwheels and Vampiro appeal as the only realistic threats to Our Corelli, who is stamping himself as a major player in the Fremantle Cup and WA Pacing Cup at the summer carnival.

Handsandwheels, trained at Capel by Andrew de Campo and to be driven by his son Aiden, is in wonderful form since resuming from a spell, with his six starts in this campaign producing three wins, a second, a fourth and a sixth placing.

He has drawn awkwardly at barrier seven and Aiden de Campo will assess the tempo of the race before deciding to send the six-year-old forward. In last week’s event, Handsandwheels started from the outside barrier (No. 9) and raced three wide early before moving into the breeze position after 500m. He fought on doggedly to finish fourth behind Our Corelli, who impressed in rating a slick 1.52.6 over 1730m.

Vampiro, to be driven for trainers Greg and Skye Bond by Ryan Warwick from barrier four, has won at 19 of his 48 starts, the most recent of those victories being two starts ago when he worked hard in the breeze before running home with commendable determination to snatch a last-stride half-head win from the pacemaker Our Corelli in the 2536m August Cup.

The Lewis stable also has excellent prospects with Pierre Whitby in race six, the 2130m Im Soxy Pace, in which the four-year-old gelding has the ability to overcome a wide draw at barrier eight.

Pierre Whitby, a winner of four races last season, is racing keenly and maintained his sound form last Friday night when he ran home solidly from sixth at the 600m mark to finish third behind Brookies Jet and Baptism of Fire.

Jocelyn Young, who has driven Pierre Whitby at 18 of his 21 starts, will drive stablemate Athabascan from barrier nine in Friday night’s race, with Chris Lewis in the sulky behind Pierre Whitby. Lewis has driven Pierre Whitby only once for a half-head win over Elsu You in a 2692m event at Pinjarra on July 29 this year.