“She looks a certainty,” declared star reinsman Chris Voak when assessing Black Jack Baby’s prospects in the $25,000 Westsired Three-Year-Old fillies event at Gloucester Park on Friday night.
Black Jack Baby, bred, owned and trained by Shane Quadrio, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier in the field of six in the 2130m event, and Voak is aiming for an all-the-way victory at the filly’s first start for nine weeks.
She warmed up in brilliant style with an effortless win in a six-horse trial over 2150m at Byford on Sunday morning. Voak restrained her at the start from the outside barrier and Black Jack Baby raced in last position in the Indian file affair and she was still last, about eight lengths from the leader Benesari Lane with 500m to travel. She burst to the front at the 150m mark and won by three lengths from Per Ardua Ad Astra, rating 1.59.6, with the final 400m taking 28.2sec.
“She went the best she’s ever gone at trials and did it effortlessly with the plugs still in,” said Voak. “The way she went, she’s unbeatable from any draw.”
Our Star Billing, an easy all-the-way winner by more than four lengths at Northam last Saturday week, is handily drawn at the No. 2 barrier for trainer-reinsman Donald Harper, and looks the only possible danger to Black Jack Baby, a winner at eleven of her 21 starts.
“Drawing two, Our Star Billing should drop straight on to Black Jack Baby’s back,” said Harper. “And this should give her the pie run, and she should sprint home.
“She won quite easily at Northam when she led and got things her own way. This week she has worked better than she ever has.”
Harper also is confident of a solid showing from his second runner, Star For Me, who will start from barrier four and will be driven by Harper’s brother Kyle.
Star For Me led early and then trailed the pacemaker Simply Shaz before finishing strongly to be second to Captains Beachbabe over 1730m last Friday night.
by Ken Casellas