Warwick's Big Chance

A horror run of wide barriers for Give Us A Wave has ended with the Mach Three colt drawing the prized No. 1 barrier in the $80,000 Allwood Stud Farm Westbred Classic for two-year-old colts and geldings at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

This change in fortune will give star reinsman Ryan Warwick an excellent chance of victory and emulating the performance of his father Colin, who drove Whistling Eagle to victory in this event in May 1994 when the race was known as the State Sires Series Classic.

Already, in the 27-year history of the race there has been two father-son victors, with Lindsay Harper winning with Disco Force (2000), Hydroflyte (2001) and Your Call Lombo (2002) and his son Kyle winning with All Aussie Boy in 2014, and Kim Prentice succeeding with Soho Monza in 2011 and his son Justin winning with Highroller Joe in 2017.

Give Us A Wave, prepared by champion trainers Greg and Skye Bond, drew barrier No. 1 on debut at Pinjarra on February 3 when he led and finished a short half-head second to Machnificent over 1684m.

Since then Give Us A Wave, a $60,000 purchase at the 2019 APG yearling sale in Perth, has enjoyed little luck, starting out wide at barrier eight twice and from barriers nine, six and five. He has revealed excellent gate speed in all those races, which include a win over The Swiss Maestro from barrier nine and working in the breeze, and seconds to Overjoyed and Carabao.

At his most recent appearance Give Us A Wave was restrained at the start from barrier eight in the $100,000 Pearl Classic last Friday week when he battled on three wide from the rear to finish seventh behind brilliant stablemate Jett Star.

Lavra Joe, who like Give Us A Wave was bred by Kevin and Annette Charles, looms as a strong winning chance, particularly after drawing favourably at barrier two for Greenbushes owner-trainer Ray Jones and champion reinsman Chris Lewis.

Lavra Joe possesses good gate speed, but it is debatable whether he will be capable of wresting the early lead from Give Us A Wave. Lavra Joe has impressed greatly with his six wins and four placings from 13 starts. In the Pearl he started from barrier three and took the lead after 350m. The final quarters were covered in 28.1sec. and 27.5sec. and he finished a gallant second to the New Zealand-bred Jett Star.

Lavra Joe warmed up for this week’s assignment with an easy win in a 2100m trial at a 2.1 rate last Friday night. He led from barrier three and dashed over the final 400m sections in 28.5sec. and 27.3sec. in winning by three lengths from Tempt Me Once More. Lewis has won the Classic three times, scoring with Hail The Judge (1996), Mista Tigga (2004) and Johnny Disco (2015).

Kim Prentice has formed a good association with the Bryan Cousins-owned and trained Carabao, who is ideally drawn on the inside of the back line. Carabao sustained a strong three-wide burst from ninth at the bell to finish third behind Jett Star and Lavra Joe in the Pearl after leading and winning by more than two lengths from Give Us A Wave and Mighty Ronaldo at his previous outing.

Mighty Ronaldo, prepared at Boyanup by Justin Prentice, will be handled by champion reinsman Gary Hall jnr from barrier No. 2 on the back line. Mighty Ronaldo raced three back on the pegs when a most unlucky eleventh in the Pearl when he has hopelessly blocked for a clear passage in the final circuit when cast back along the pegs by a tiring runner.

“Hopefully, we’ll get a crack at them this time,” Hall said. “The map is good for him and if Give Us A Wave holds up, we should be able to follow the likely breeze horse Lavra Joe.

“It was pretty disappointing in the Pearl. The race was run to suit, but we never got clear. I don’t know whether he would have won, but he was travelling well enough to give it a shake.”

The Good Life, who ran on from eighth at the bell to finish fourth in the Pearl, looks set to be prominent from the No. 3 barrier for Capel trainer Aiden de Campo, who is driving in devastating form.