Quandary for Punters

Punters wagering on the first event, the 2536m Choices Flooring Northam Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night are perplexed as they face the dilemma of selecting a winner in an out-of-form field of 12, with none of the runners being placed at his past three starts and with the field having an overall winning percentage of just 9.57.

The 12 runners have a combined losing sequence of 180 (which includes a mere 16 placings). Therefore, barrier positions should prove vital when assessing the prospects of the 12 horses who have amassed a combined tally of 1666 starts for 174 wins and 356 placings.

Shannon Suvaljko has provided punters with an important lead by electing to drive Twentynine Twelve, a seven-year-old who has managed just two placings from his past 16 starts and has a poor winning record of eight per cent (from his nine wins from 108 starts.

Suvaljko chose Twentynine Twelve ahead of Regal Ambition (barrier No. 7), Charlie El (barrier two on the back line) and Tanaka Eagle (barrier three on the back line). Regal Ambition will be handled by Jocelyn Young, Kyle Harper will drive Charlie El and Peter Tilbrook will handle eight-year-old Tanaka Eagle, a veteran of 288 starts.

One of the main prospects appears to be the Greg and Skye Bond-trained Courage Tells, a 12-year-old gelding with a record of 261 starts for 37 wins and 62 placings. Courage Tells will start from the inside of the back line and leading reinsman Ryan Warwick should have him in a prominent position throughout.

The youngest runner and most recent winner is Collie trainer Errol Ashcroft’s four-year-old Euphoric Moment, who will be driven by the in-form Deni Roberts from the outside of the front line. Euphoric Moment was a fast-finishing winner at Bunbury six starts ago but has been unplaced at his five subsequent starts.

In other news, Dylan Egerton-Green has been engaged to drive lightly-raced five-year-old Lord Rosco in the 1730m Choices Flooring Busselton Pace. He replaces Aimee-Lee Wood, who has driven the gelding ten times for seven wins, two seconds and one third placing.

Lord Rosco possesses brilliant gate speed and is capable of charging to the front from the No. 6 barrier. He warmed up for Friday night’s assignment in fine style when Wood drove him to an effortless all-the-way victory at a 1.57.4 rate over 2100m at Bunbury on Tuesday night.

Lord Rosco, polemarker Walsh and Art Tutor appear the major players, with Walsh (whose nine wins include five when he has set the pace) expected to make a bold bid to set the pace from the coveted No. 1 barrier. Walsh, trained and driven by Aiden de Campo, has unwound spirited finishing bursts for two thirds and a fourth from his past three starts.

Art Tutor, trained and driven by Aldo Cortopassi, is favourably drawn at barrier three and is sure to be prominent. He impressed at $51 last Friday night when he worked hard in the breeze throughout and fought on grandly to be a close second to Bolta.