Maddison Brown continues to impress with her sublime skill in the sulky, and she was rewarded for her patience when she landed veteran pacer Whozideawasthis a surprise winner of the $25,000 Book A Private Box At Gloucester Park Pace at WA’s harness racing headquarters on Friday night.
Remarkably, the ten-year-old Whozideawasthis was a rank outsider at $85.80 a week after Brown had driven the gelding to an all-the-way win from the No. 1 barrier.
Punters disregarded the New Zealand-bred gelding’s form and most gave him little chance from the outside of the back line in the 2130m event in which his champion stablemate Chicago Bull was favourite at $2.90 from the outside barrier (No. 9) on the front line.
And in another shock, Chicago Bull finished in last place in the field of twelve.
Chicago Bull’s trainer Gary Hall Snr had five of the runners, including Whozideawasthis and the pacemaker Ideal Liner, a $12 chance at his first appearance for 38 weeks who set the pace from the No. 1 barrier and finished second. The Hall quinella paid a handsome dividend of $456.70.
Brown cleverly angled Whozideawasthis across to the pegs to give the gelding a soft run. Whozideawasthis was seventh, four back on the pegs at the bell, and he was still under lock and key 400m from home. Then, with about 450m to travel Chris Playle eased $23 chance Stroke Of Luck from behind the pacemaking Ideal Liner to issue a challenge.
Dylan Egerton-Green then got off the inside with Tyler Brett (three back on the pegs) to follow Stroke Of Luck. Brown had little room to move, and she persisted with the inside running until Whozideawasthis took advantage of a fortuitous inside run and burst to the front 45m from the post to record a wonderful victory by a neck over Ideal Liner. Stroke Of Luck finished a nose away in third place, with Tyler Brett fourth.
Playle lodged a protest against Ideal Liner, alleging interference over the final 300m. The stewards dismissed the protest, ruling that they considered that the level of interference did not warrant the protest being upheld.
Brown has enjoyed a good association with Whozideawasthis, having driven the oldstager seven times for two wins and two second placings. Whozideawasthis now has won at four of his past six starts to improve his record to 112 starts for 29 wins and 18 placings for stakes of $337,754.
Whozideawasthis won nine times in New Zealand and four times in New South Wales and looks capable of improving on his West Australian record of 16 wins for the Hall stable.
Chicago Bull settled down in last position and Gary Hall Jnr sent him forward, out three wide, approaching the 900m mark to move into eighth place at the bell and fifth at the 600m. He was forced wide and failed to run on as he wilted to finish last.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the run,” said star reinsman Gary Hall Jnr. “When I took off Chicago Bull didn’t really want to zap up there,” he said. “He seems really well in himself, which is why I was disappointed that he is not racing as good as he can.
“Both races (since resuming after a spell) have been pretty hard ones to get into. At his previous preparation he was showing form that we weren’t exactly happy with until we had that race with Handsandwheels where I really got stuck into him and made him do what we thought he could do. He then sort of turned the corner.
“He is so laid back and casual. So, if you take him back off the gate, he isn’t prepared to do his best. And being a bit older, it might take a bit longer to get him back to his best.”
by Ken Casellas