WA Trotting Media Guild Friday's Thoughts 23rd August
It should be a wonderful night for punters at Gloucester Park on Friday night - if the best bets from the members of the WA Trotting Media Guild all salute.
Seven Guild members have settled on seven different star bets for the 10-event card at Australia’s best harness racing venue.
Longshot guru Pat Harding is, uncharacteristically, playing it safer than most by declaring odds-on favourite Wildwest.
“Notwithstanding the rain, we can expect another sizzling performance from Wildwest in race three,” Harding said. “I have made him my best bet again and barrier 11 is not likely to be a problem over the 2536 metre journey. This is a most exciting horse with a brilliant future.”
The West Australian’s Ernie Manning is keen on Handsandwheels from the Andrew De Campo yard.
“Handsandwheels, nearing a $500,000 stake-earnings milestone, gets his chance to complete a winning hat-trick,” Manning said. “The five-year-old, part-owned by Perth Cup winning jockey Kyra Yuill, is racing better than ever after a slight lull which followed his 2017 WA Derby win. Trainer Andrew De Campo has him on target for the Fremantle Pacing Cup and WA Pacing Cup at Perth’s summer carnival. He has the impressive tally of 14 Gloucester Park wins.”
RWWA’s racing communications co-ordinator Tim Walker has made the consistent Eloquent Mach his best.
“You have to respect Major Trojan in this race, but I think his stablemate Eloquent Mach can find the front here and be super hard to beat,” Walker said.
On-course announcer Ken Casellas believes The War Nurse can bounce back to winning form.
“The Debra Lewis stable continues to shine and The War Nurse has bright prospects of giving the Hopeland trainer her 52nd winner of the season on Friday night,” Casellas said.
“The four-year-old mare is versatile and driver Jocelyn Young will have options from the No. 5 barrier - either to make use of her sparkling gate speed or to restrain her and rely on a strong finishing burst. Punters should forgive The War Nurse’s fading eighth behind Carter Micheal over 1730m last Friday night on a rain-soaked track.”
TABradio racecaller Hayden King is a fan of Mister Ardee, especially after drawing the pole for his assignment.
“Mister Ardee gets his best chance to break through here,” King said. “He has drawn the pole and should lead throughout for a deserved win.”
The West Australian’s racing co-ordinator Ryan Havercroft believes Just Rockon Bye can win first-up from a spell.
“Just Rockon Bye didn’t fire in her first preparation for Gary Hall, but her 19 career wins suggest she has ability,” Havercroft said. “There isn’t a lot drawn to her inside and her main rivals will have to get around her to win.”
Guild president Wayne Currall rounds out the seven individual star bets by opting for Beltane in race nine.
“Beltane has returned to somewhere near his best with two wins and two placings from his last four starts,” Currall said. “Trainer/driver Nathan Turvey has options from his backline draw and should be able to position his charge in a prominent position to strike when the whips are cracking.”
PAT: I think the Justin Prentice-trained Aristocratic Star with Gary Hall Jr aboard can bring home the bacon. It's only a small field and he should give punters some joy at the end of the night.
ERNIE: Rock Me Over has not won in his past 22 starts, but looks ready to break the drought. He has impressed when a Gloucester Park placegetter at his past four starts for trainer Matthew Scott, who took over the gelding’s preparation early this year.
TIM: Smoldering Ashes is working up to a win. Whether he has the pace to match The War Nurse time will tell, but I think he’s ready to win.
KEN: The redoubtable Im Soxy in race six, in which he is favourably drawn at barrier two, is nearing another win. He continues to race with commendable zest and is sure to fight out the finish.
HAYDEN: Looks Official has been most impressive at her last two appearances. She is capable of causing a real blowout against these top fillies.
RYAN: Vincenzo Perrugia caught the eye last time out and is drawn to lead. That was Emily Suvaljko’s first drive on him and she stays on this week.
WAYNE: Most punters will be looking to what horse can run second behind Wildwest. I think that horse could be Presidentmach from his favourable draw in gate two.