Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Five-year-old mare Eighteen Carat gave a sample of her class when she scored a runaway victory in the 2130m City Discount Tyres Falken Tyres Free-For-All at Gloucester Park on Friday night, a striking performance which indicated she should develop into a leading candidate for the rich events for mares in November.
“She went 1.55.8 which was low flying tonight, with the weather and strong wind,” said trainer Michael Young. “She couldn’t have been more impressive. Her rivals weren’t bad horses, but she made them look like bad horses.
“We will give her a couple of more runs and then a little freshen up before the big races (the $100,000 Norms Daughter Classic on November 11 and the $150,000 Westral Mares Classic on November 25). That’s the aim for her, and she should be right in it.
“She has a bit of speed and a lot of strength and heart. She is a really tough mare, an all-round good horse, one out of the box. She was only a cheap buy out of New Zealand, costing $30,000, and she has earned that from her first three starts in WA.”
Eighteen Carat raced 38 times in New Zealand for five wins, six placings and $50,473. Her two wins and a third in WA netted $30,058.
Asked to compare Eighteen Carat with Nevermindthechaos, Young replied: “That’s a tough question. Nevermindthechaos is my favourite of all time, and I think she has got Eighteen Carat covered for a bit of brilliance. But Eighteen Carat has probably got her for a bit of strength.”
Nevermindthechaos (19 starts for seven wins, five placings and $62,887) is recovering from a strained nearside fore tendon, and Young is hopeful she will be able to resume her racing career in the not-too-distant future.
On Friday night Eighteen Carat, the $1.70 favourite, set the pace for Gary Hall Jnr and coasted to a five and a half-length victory over the $5 chance Angel In White, who fought on gamely after racing without cover. The final 400m sections were covered in 27.9sec. and 28.8sec.