Peterson Looks for a Cure

Young trainer-reinsman Corey Peterson is hoping that a change of shoeing will enable Cant Refuse to return to the winning list when he contests the 2130m Off The Track Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Peterson admits that he was disappointed when Cant Refuse lacked sparkle and finished a well-beaten sixth behind Jack Farthing last Friday night, two weeks after his strong first-up victory at his first appearance for his new trainer.

Last week Cant Refuse raced without cover before wilting in the final circuit. This week he is favourably drawn at barrier two on the front line and Peterson is hoping he will make amends for last week’s failure.

“After racing in the breeze last week, he didn’t let down in the final 600 metres,” Peterson said. “He was bolting before that. I now have found a few issues with him; it was mainly problems with his feet that was causing the headache. I’m hoping that a change of shoeing will do the trick.”

Cant Refuse started from barrier five two starts ago when he wasn’t bustled early and raced wide before getting to the front after 650m. He was then untroubled to set the pace and win by a length from Sightseeing Anvil and Henwood Bay.

Adding considerable interest to this week’s race will be the return to racing of the talented New Zealand-bred four-year-old Gran Chico, who will be having his first start since leading and fading to fifth behind Destined To Rule over 2130m on May 29.

Gran Chico, trained by Mike Reed and to be driven by Mark Reed, has won at six of his 13 starts, but faces a stiff first-up test from the outside barrier (No. 9) in the field of 12. He set the pace in a 2150m Byford trial on Sunday morning and wilted in the home straight when second to the fast-finishing Mattjestic Star when the final 800m was covered in a modest 58.2sec.

Mattjestic Star will start from the No. 1 barrier and Shannon Suvaljko looks set to set the pace and make a bold bid for an all-the-way victory.

Other runners expected to be fancied include stablemates Liam Neil and Mister Bushido, Braeview Bondi, Dredlock Rockstar and Baylan Jett.

Star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has chosen to drive Liam Neil (barrier four) in preference to Mister Bushido (six), saying: “Liam Neill is going really well and is a good each-way chance.”

Liam Neill, trained by Gary Hall Snr, has set the pace and won very easily at his past two starts, but on Friday night he could find it difficult to wrest the lead from Mattjestic Star in the early stages. The Michael Brennan-trained Braeview Bondi should prove hard to beat after finishing strongly to be placed at his past two starts.

Hall Jnr predicted a strong showing from My Carbon Copy (barrier seven) in the 2130m Better Your Industry With TABtouch Pace. “It’s a big drop in grade and if it was a 2500m race I’d declare him,” he said. “However, over 2100m, it gives the others a chance. I probably can’t go forward and probably will have to rely on a strong finish. He can run 56sec. for the last 800m, off the track.”