Rocknroll Lincoln Represents the Class
Sparks are likely to fly in the early stages of the $22,000 Fred Doy Memorial at Gloucester Park on Friday night when polemarker Mister Versace and veteran pacer Sokys Big Bullet are expected to be locked in a battle for the early lead.
If that transpires and the early speed is fast, it will play into the hands of classy five-year-old Rocknroll Lincoln, who faces a testing time from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line in the 2130m event.
Rocknroll Lincoln is an M4-class pacer and the best-assessed runner in the race and the Justin Prentice-trained stallion will have the services of champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr who drove the horse four times as a four-year-old for two wins (including the group 3 Narrogin Cup in which he beat Our Jimmy Johnstone).
Prentice produced Rocknroll Lincoln in fine fettle for his first-up run at Gloucester Park last Friday week when Jocelyn Young was in the sulky. Rocknroll Lincoln started from barrier six and enjoyed a perfect passage, one-out and one-back, before sprinting home brilliantly to get up and win from the pacemaker Speed Man, with final quarters in 28.3sec. and 27.7sec.
Chris Voak will drive Mister Versace for Banjup trainer Annie Belton and he is sure to seriously contemplate attempting an all-the-way victory. Voak took full advantage of the No. 1 barrier four starts ago when he guided Mister Versace to a strong all-the-way win over Madame Meilland.
However, Mister Versace is likely to be challenged hard for the lead by nine-year-old Sokys Big Bullet, who will start from the No. 2 barrier. Reinsman Giles Inwood said that he was sure that the gelding’s trainer Tony Svilicich would instruct him to attempt to get to an early lead and then set a solid pace.
Sokys Big Bullet’s three runs since resuming from a spell have been encouraging. He followed his third to Speed Man and fourth to Argyle Red with a fighting second to the pacemaker Overboard Again last Friday night when he worked hard three wide early (from barrier six) and then in the breeze.
The Errol Ashcroft-trained Forever Remembered ran a splendid trial for this week’s race when she started from barrier seven and was last in a field of 11 at the bell before dashing home from eighth at the 400m and going six wide on the home turn to get up and win from Neighlor.
Forever Remembered will again be driven by Kyle Harper, who is hoping that the eight-year-old will become only the second mare to win the Doy Memorial, which was first run in 2006. The only mare to have won the race was the Victorian-bred Smooth Hayley, who was driven by Chris Lewis and defeated Mon Gee and Master Beaudale.
Lewis, who has also won this event with Tee Pee Village (2008), Sneakyn Down Under (2013) and Our Jericho (2016), will drive the Svilicich-trained Cyclone Mitch from barrier seven. The ten-year-old’s most recent success was in March 2016.