Tact Major Returns
Sixteen months ago, Tact Major was on the doorstep of a wonderful career but he broke down with a bowed tendon and his racing future was in serious doubt.
However, patient care has enabled him to recover and he will resume after an absence of 490 days when he contests the Glenroy Chaff Bio John Petstock Pace over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
“He bowed his tendon twice, but now he seems pretty sound,” said trainer Gary Hall Snr. “He might need the run, but he’s got enough ability to win first-up. He has been working as good as Whozideawasthis (a smart winner last Friday night). But, at home it’s a lot different to being in a race.”
Tact Major, a New Zealand-bred seven-year-old, has raced only 22 times for ten wins, four seconds and a third placing. He is favourably drawn at barrier No. 2 in a field of eight and Lauren Jones should have him in a forward position all the way.
Argyle Red will start from the No. 1 barrier and Morgan Woodley appears certain to take full advantage of the gelding’s excellent gate speed in an attempt to lead throughout.
The Hall stable will also be represented by Campora, a fast-finishing winner four starts ago. Campora will start out wide at barrier seven, but has sound claims after unwinding strong late bursts to finish fourth behind Major Catastrophe and fifth behind Herrick Roosevelt at his past two outings.
In what should prove to be a keen betting race, Lord Willoughby and Luis Alberto will have many admirers. The Ross Olivieri-trained Lord Willoughby, with Chris Lewis in the sulky at barrier three, should prove hard to beat following his strong effort last Friday week when he sustained a spirited three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to finish third behind Handsandwheels and Vincenzo Peruggia in the Four And Five-Year-Old Championship.
Luis Alberto, to be driven by Jocelyn Young for trainer Debra Lewis, also looks set to fight out the finish. He caught the eye when fourth behind Handsandwheels last Friday week when he was last at the bell and ninth, five wide, on the home turn before charging down the straight.
Luis Alberto maintained his outstanding form last Friday night when he thundered home from fourth (three wide) at the bell to win easily at a 1.54.8 rate over 1730m, with final quarters of 27.8sec. and 28.9sec.
Another pacer from the Hall camp who will be making a comeback on Friday night is Heez Manly, who will be driven by Kim Prentice from the No. 3 barrier in the Glenroy Chaff Pinjarra Traders Pace. He has recovered from suspensory ligament damage and is capable of winning at his first appearance for 12 months.
“He’s sound, but a bit underdone,” said Hall Snr. “However, he is good enough to win, first-up.”
Gary Hall Jnr gave punters an important lead by choosing to drive Liberty Rose ahead of Heez Manly, Fake News and Dominate The Dojo in Friday night’s race.
Liberty Rose has a losing sequence of 13 but is knocking on the door and should notch her seventh victory this week or in the very near future. She will start from the inside of the back line and should have a reasonably soft passage before Hall sets her alight in the final circuit. She was tenth at the bell before sprinting home powerful, out wide, to finish a head second to Dominate The Dojo over 1730m last Friday night.
Fake News, a winner at six of her past eight starts, including an all-the-way triumph in the $30,000 Country Derby at Pinjarra at her most recent outing, will start from the No. 4 barrier and will be handled by Micheal Ferguson. Kevin Keys has engaged Aiden de Campo for Dominate The Dojo, who will begin out wide at barrier eight.