Six-year-old pacer Antero, who managed six wins in minor country events from his first 56 starts, continued his giant-killing spree when he was a $6.20 chance who finished full of running to easily beat the hot $1.08 favourite Papinik in the 2130m DTS 55,000 Stock Lines Under One Roof Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
In a remarkable turnaround for his fifth trainer, Gary Hall Snr, Antero has had 12 starts for seven wins, three seconds, one fourth and one sixth placing.
He started from the outside barrier in the field of five on Friday night and raced in last position before Gary Hall Jnr followed the one-wide run of Papinik from the 1050m.
Papinik dashed past the wilting pacemaker Beach Skipper 460m from home, but he was unable to withstand the strong finishing burst of Antero, who took the lead 110m from the finish.
“Antero has hit a purple patch,” said Hall Jnr. “After his previous start, when he won at Pinjarra, we were dropping him off at Larry Boag’s place so he could have a spell. But after he won, Senior (Dad) said ‘no, I want to give him one more start. Don’t spell horses when they’re going so good.’
“That one more run was going to be tonight, but now that he has won again and if he keeps going like that, he will never get a break.”
Papinik lost few admirers. He was having his first start for four weeks and was beaten by a horse with superior race fitness.
By Ken Casellas