Ken Casellas | Photo Credit: Hamilton Content Creators
Some pacers enjoy considerable luck with favourable barriers. Others are not so fortunate.
Three-year-old Arma Einstein will start from the No. 1 barrier for the second time in a career of 29 starts when he contests the 2130m TABtouch Better Your Bet Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Arma Einstein, trained and driven by Colin Brown, has not started from inside barrier five at his past 12 outings, and the closest to the inside he has drawn from his past 23 starts is barrier No. 3 at Gloucester Park last April when he led and finished second, beaten a head, by the brilliant Jumpingjackmac.
The only time he began from the No. 1 barrier was in June last year when he raced without cover and finished second to Powerplay.
“He has drawn the one, and now is the time to see what he’s made of,” said Brown. “I know he’s got gate speed, and he will come out as solid as he can, and I’d say if we can hold up, we will be hard to beat. That’s something we will find out in the first hundred yards.
“We haven’t been firing him out from bad draws because he can fire up, and I haven’t wanted to get caught three deep and doing too much work. This week we will give the front a crack.”
Arma Einstein has been a consistent performer, with his 28 starts producing five wins and eleven placings. At his most recent appearance, Arma Einstein began from barrier seven, raced wide early and then obtained an ideal passage, one-out and one-back, before finishing gamely to be third behind the pacemaker Powerplay and Orlando Blue over 2130m last Friday week.
He endured tough runs in the breeze at his two previous outings for Pinjarra seconds behind Powerplay and The Code Breaker, and before that he finished strongly from the rear to win from Aussie Edition, rating 1.56.9 over 2185m at Pinjarra.
Arma Einstein is a younger full-brother to the talented four-year-old mare Fifty Five Reborn, who has won in fine style at her past four starts to improve her record to 14 wins and four placings for stakes of $178,277 from 41 starts.
Asked to compare the siblings, Brown said: “Early on we considered Arma Einstein to be a lot better than Fifty Five Reborn. She has developed, and, hopefully, Arma Einstein develops along the same lines. He is going into the paddock for four weeks after this week’s run before coming back into work.”
Powerplay is a winner of eleven races from 35 starts and is in top form. He will start from barrier six and champion reinsman Chris Lewis will assess his tactics when the mobile barrier sends the field of eight on its way.
Powerplay began from the 10m mark and impressed when he ran home boldly with a three-wide burst from eighth at the bell to finish fourth behind Minstrel last Friday night. He revealed sparkling gate speed to set the pace and win in fine style at each of his three previous starts.
“We will have a look at things and decide what we will do,” said Lewis. “And, for sure, he’s a winning chance. And I was happy with his first run in a stand last week.”
There is abundant exposed form among the eight runners in Friday night’s field, with Chris Voak saying: “Lil Happy Fella is definitely capable of winning. He can play a part; all he needs is a bit of luck and the right trip.”
Lil Happy Fella, trained by Barry Howlett, will start from barrier six. He was hampered for room in the final stages when a last-start seventh behind Powerplay, and his form before that from unfavourable draws was quite encouraging.
Orlando Blue, trained by Michael Young and driven by Gary Hall jnr, is in excellent form and should fight out the finish after starting rom the No. 2 barrier. He covered extra ground and won in convincing style from Icanbolt over 1730m on Tuesday of last week.