Young Set for Winning Start

Jocelyn Young looks set to get away to a winning start by guiding smart four-year-old Carter Micheal to victory in the opening heat of the Garrards Junior Drivers Challenge at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

The Nathan Turvey-trained Carter Micheal has made an impressive start to his career, with his first 29 starts producing 12 wins and seven placings.

The first heat looks likely to develop into a spirited challenge between Carter Micheal and another New Zealand-bred four-year-old Heez Manly, who will be handled by Deni Roberts.

Heez Manly set the pace and held on to win narrowly from Courage To Live over 2130m on Thursday of last week. That took the Gary Hall Snr trained gelding’s record to seven wins and seven placings from 18 starts.      

Jack Justins will drive Athabascan from barrier three and the gelding is capable of a bold showing from the No. 3 barrier.

Young and Roberts also have strong claims in the second heat of the challenge, at Bunbury on Saturday night when Young will drive Riri Rihanna from the outside of the back line and Roberts will be in the sulky behind Mago Man, who will start from barrier two on the back line.

Others with sound prospects include Jimmy Recard (Madeleine Young) and The Marble Ridge (Mitch Miller).

One of the best bets on the ten-event program at Gloucester Park on Friday night should prove to be nine-year-old Bettors Fire in the $25,000 Sky Pace over 2130m.

Bettors Fire, trained and driven by Kyle Harper, will start from barrier six and his clash with dual WA Pacing Cup winner My Hard Copy, up-and-coming star Zennart, Our Jimmy Johnstone, Vultan Tin and Runrunjimmydunn should produce plenty of fireworks.

Bettors Fire gave a wonderful performance when a close second to outsider Importer Exporter in the 2902m Easter Cup on Thursday of last week when he was the backmarker off 50m and charged home from tenth at the bell.

“His run was outstanding,” said Harper. “And if he carries his form across from last week he’s a very good chance.”