The Bucket List Fancied

Twenty-five hundred metres is his pet distance and he’s a good chance on Friday night.

That was outstanding young reinsman Michael Grantham’s assessment of The Bucket List’s prospects in the $25,000 Memorial Day Stakes over 2536m at Gloucester Park.

“He has freshened up really good after having two weeks off,” said Grantham, who will handle the nine-year-old veteran of 124 starts from the No. 3 barrier.

The Bucket List, prepared by Michael Brennan at Blythewood, is in sound form. He surged home from eighth at the bell to win from the fast-finishing Whozideawasthis over 1730m four starts ago and since then he has finished strongly for a half-head second to Vultan Tin over 2536m, fifth behind Whozideawasthis over 1730m and a close third in a three-way photo finish with Kiwi Legend and Caviar Star over 1730m last Friday week.

The Bucket List revealed his splendid staying potential early in his career in New Zealand when he was successful over 2500m, 2700m and 3000m.

He deserves a feature win after seconds in the 2015 York Cup, 2016 Northam Cup, 2016 Narrogin Cup, 2016 Stratton Cup, 2017 Winter Cup, 2017 Marathon, 2017 Randall Memorial Cup at Pinjarra and thirds in the 2015 Narrogin Cup and the 2018 WA Pacing Cup behind Soho Tribeca and Chicago Bull. His only Cup success was in the 2503m BOTRA Cup in July 2018 and he also won an Inter Dominion Championship consolation over 2936m at Gloucester Park in December 2017.

Friday night’s feature event is an open affair and he Bucket List’s chief rivals include Vultan Tin, Whozideawasthis, Im Full of Excuses and Always Arjay.

Vultan Tin, to be driven by Chris Voak for Coolup trainer Phil Costello, will have many admirers, despite drawing the outside barrier in a field of eight. Vultan Tin gave further proof of his toughness on Thursday of last week when he raced wide early and then in the breeze before getting up to win from the pacemaker Always Arjay.

Whozideawasthis, to be driven by Stuart McDonald for trainer Gary Hall snr, will begin from the No. 4 barrier and should prove hard to beat. He was not suited on Thursday of last week when he was involved in an early speed battle for the lead. Then after enjoying the one-out, one-back trail, he moved on terms (three wide) with Always Arjay and Vultan Tin 300m from home before wilting to fifth.

Whozideawasthis also started from barrier four in the 2130m Memorial Day Stakes 12 months ago when he scored an easy win from the Brennan-trained Futurist. This gave Hall snr and reinsman Gary Hall Jnr their second success in the Memorial Day Stakes. They combined to win with John of Arc in 2015 when the event was run over 1730m.

Hall Snr has also prepared five second placegetters in the event - Zakara (1991), Bengeeman (2003), Patches (2006), Dartmoor (2009) and Whos Mistake (2013) and two thirds with Talk To Me Courage (2010) and Sanjaya (2013).

Ross Olivieri has prepared Captain Lee (1995) and Tsunami Lombo (2011) for wins in the Memorial Day Stakes and star reinsman Chris Lewis has been successful behind Village Kid (1985), Elteei (1986), Captain Lee (1995) and Wrongly Accused (2013).

Olivieri and Lewis will combine with the New Zealand-bred seven-year-old Im Full of Excuses, who should be prominent throughout after starting from the No. 1 barrier. “He’s definitely in the mix and is not far away from a win,” said Lewis. “And the distance will suit him.”

The vastly-improved Luis Alberto faces a stern task and a considerable rise in class when Jocelyn Young will drive him from barrier five. Luis Alberto, trained by Debra Lewis, is in top form, with his past 11 starts producing six wins, two seconds, one third and two fourths.

Luis Alberto gave a bold frontrunning display to win from Our Alfie Romeo and Kimani over 2130m on Thursday of last week.