Vultan Tin is the Odd Horse Out

Vultan Tin, firmly on track to contest the rich summer carnival cups this month, will be the odd horse out when he starts from the prized No. 1 barrier in the $25,000 Direct Trades Supply Free-For-All over 2130m at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The West Australian-bred seven-year-old will be clashing with nine New Zealand-bred pacers and has bright prospects of leading all the way.

Trained at Coolup by Phil Costello, Vultan Tin will be driven by Chris Voak, who is sure to make full use of the gelding’s good gate speed and ability as a frontrunner. Eight of his 18 victories have been achieved when he has set the pace.

It will pay to completely disregard Vultan Tin’s last-start eighth behind My Field Marshal in the 1730m Village Kid Sprint last Friday night when he started out wide at barrier No. 8 and was restrained to the rear before starting a three-wide move about 550m from home. He was then forced extremely wide and had no chance of making ground on the leaders.

At his previous outing, a fortnight earlier, Vultan Tin started from the outside barrier in a field of nine and quickly dropped back to the rear before Voak sent him forward to challenge Rocknroll Lincoln for the lead. He was unable to get to the front and then overraced in the breeze before hanging on grimly to finish second to Rocknroll Lincoln, with final quarters in 27.5sec. and 28.4sec.

A week before that, Vultan Tin started from barrier four in a field of six and he raced in fifth position on the pegs before finishing strongly to dead-heat for first with Runrunjimmydunn in the 2130m event. The final sections were covered in 27.6sec. and 27.8sec.

Runrunjimmydunn looms large as a serious rival for Vultan Tin. The five-year-old who is prepared by Gary Hall Snr, maintained his good form when he enjoyed an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before fighting on gamely to finish third behind My Field Marshal.

Leading trainers Greg and Skye Bond hold a strong hand in this week’s event, with four of the ten runners El Jacko, Rock Diamonds, Vampiro and Mitch Maguire --- with the State’s leading reinsman and the stable’s No. 1 driver Ryan Warwick giving punters a lead by opting to handle Mitch Maguire, the solitary runner off the back line.

Mitch Maguire raced three back on the pegs and fought on well when fourth in the Village Kid Sprint at his first appearance since finishing strongly to win a 2503m stand from As Happy As Larry a month earlier.

El Jacko, a fast-finishing last-start winner, will begin from barrier three with Dylan Egerton-Green in the sulky; Aiden de Campo will drive Rock Diamonds from barrier seven and Colin Brown will handle Vampiro from the outside barrier (No. 9).

Bettor Not Bitter gets his chance

Locally-bred six-year-old Bettor Not Bitter has bright prospects of ending a losing sequence of 23 and a 15-month drought when he starts from the 10m mark in the 2503m Better Your Bet With TABtouch Handicap at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

His past two runs have been a firm indication that he is ready to return to the winning list.

He started from the outside of the back line in a 2130m mobile event last Friday night and impressed in finishing a close fourth behind Carter Micheal. He raced three wide for the first 300m and then worked hard in the breeze before taking a narrow lead 200m from home and fighting on grimly over the final stages.

A week before that he began out wide from barrier seven and raced without cover in the first circuit before enjoying a good sit, one-out and one-back, and then ran home gamely to finish second to the pacemaker Machiatto in a 2130m mobile.

Bettor Not Bitter, to be driven by Ryan Warwick for star trainers Greg and Skye Bond, is a capable standing-start performer who has had 12 runs in stands for three wins, three seconds, one third and two fourths.

His main rival appears to be the Ross Olivieri-trained Carrera Mach, who is ideally suited from barrier two on the front line, with Chris Lewis in the sulky. Carrera Mach has struck a purple patch with four wins from his past five starts.

He enjoyed a perfect sit in the one-out, one-back position before fighting on doggedly to snatch a half-head victory from Lightning Jolt in a 2130m mobile event on Monday night. Carrera Mach set the pace and won easily from Trust My Judgement in a 2560m stand at Northam nine nights earlier.

Four-year-old Carrera Mach, the youngest and least experienced runner in the field, with seven wins, seven seconds and one third from 24 starts, boasts a record in stands of four starts for two wins and two seconds.

At the other end of the scale and at the other end of the scale are seasoned campaigners Courage Tells and Tanaka Eagle.

Courage Tells, an evergreen 11-year-old trained by the Bonds, will be driven by Dylan Egerton-Green from the 10m mark. He won for the 34th time from 203 starts when he set the pace and beat Bettor Be Lively and Mighty Flying Thomas in a 2130m mobile on Monday night.

Tanaka Eagle, an eight-year-old trained by Reg Phillips, has won at 23 of his 211 starts. He caught the eye two starts ago when he ran home solidly from sixth at the bell to finish second to Our Max Phactor in a 2503m stand at Gloucester Park and two starts before that he made most of the running to win a 2631m stand at Pinjarra, beating Importer Exporter and Courage Tells.