Smoldering Ashes Set for a Hat-Trick
Aiden de Campo, fresh from the excitement of being one of the 100,021 spectators at the AFL grand final at the MCG last Saturday, is bullish about the prospects of giving punters a good start to Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park by driving Smoldering Ashes to victory in the opening event, the 2130m TABtouch Inter Dominion Starts November 24 Pace.
Five-year-old Smoldering Ashes, a recent newcomer to the Capel stables of de Campo’s father Andrew, has overcome a wide barrier (eight) and a 30m handicap to win decisively at his past two starts. He is ideally drawn at the No. 1 barrier on the front line on Friday night and Aiden de Campo is aiming to win the start.
“His runs since arriving at the stable have been really good and if he leads he’ll give a ton of cheek and will take beating,” he said. “There’s bit of pace on the front line from horses like Im Batman and Messi. This is Smoldering Ashes’ first run back in the draw and from all reports he gets out pretty well. Hopefully, he can hold the front.”
Messi, to be driven by Colin Brown from barrier seven, is a speedy beginner and looms as a major rival to Smoldering Ashes. Messi, from barrier one, led for the first 120m in a 2130m event last Friday night before taking the sit behind the stablemate and hot favourite Idealindiamonds and finishing a sound second to that talented and lightly-raced six-year-old.
Ryan Warwick will drive Fifth Edition from barrier six in Friday night’s race and the New Zealand-bred eight-year-old, trained by Skye Bond, will have many admirers. Fifth Edition, favourite at 6/4 on, was most unlucky last Friday night when second to Jaxon Fella after being under duress in front by Debt Free Charlie, who overraced badly.
De Campo will also have many friends when he drives veteran mare Its My Lucknow from the No. 1 barrier in the TABtouch Inter Dominion Heat Night Two Pace over 2130m. De Campo will replace Dylan Egerton-Green, who will drive his own nomination Honey And Lime, an easy last-start all-the-way winner over 1684m at Pinjarra. However, Honey And Lime faces a stern test from the outside of the back line.
Its My Lucknow is an honest nine-year-old who will be having her 225th start in a race. She started from a wide barrier and raced four back on the pegs before finishing solidly to be third behind Millview Sienna over 1730m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday of last week.
Bettor Bling, trained and driven by Callan Suvaljko, will be one of the fancies in Friday night’s event for mares. A winner at Pinjarra five starts ago, she has impressed with fast-finishing efforts at her past two outings.
She was seventh at the bell and finished fast to be a close third to Bad Round and Torrevean Mio over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Tuesday night. A week earlier she finished strongly from fourth at the bell to be second to Chiaroscuro. She will start from the inside of the back line and is sure to threaten danger if she obtains a clear run in the concluding stages.